Cool Picture, But It’s Photoshopped
Andy Shepard

Hi Andy, I can emphatize totally with the whole “photoshop” thing. I have the same reaction when someone asks of one of my shots: “is this photoshopped?” I can feel the hackles raising on my back, the defenses rallying, the righteous indignation boiling in my spleen..

It happened recently on a social network. Luckily, I did not react in the moment, but decided to leave some time to compose a clear and eloquent response — much as you have done here.

The more I thought about it however, the more I was inclined to not waste my energy in explaining the whole process and the role which photoshop (and lightroom) play in the processing of photos. I asked the questioner to clarify what they meant, and their response indicated to me that they were not really interested in technical details, just making an inane comment.

I use whatever tools are at my disposal to create my images. Thirty years ago, it was pushing or pulling the film development along with various experiments in the darkroom to achieve special effects with my prints.

Nowadays, these tools are digital. It doesn’t make them any less valid. To my mind, “photoshopped” is not a dirty word . It is, in fact a new word — for the new world we live in. Technology expands our world continuously and if some ludites want to naysay the new, rallying with their pitchforks and torches, I say: Let them squabble among themselves.

We can look instead at the beauty of the world around us, capture images which evoke it and present it for the fortunate few who can view it without analyzing, criticizing and sermonizing.

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