Photography is subjective and like art is an expression of the photographers' vision. One topic that continues to raise its head in the photographic world, is the use of computers and computer software to carry out image enhancements and post processing work. There is an incessant demand for details of exactly what software or which processes you have used to achieve your style of imagery; the style that you want to portray through your work. Everyone wants to see the EXIF data, which, don't get me wrong, can be interesting when you are looking to learn more about photography and how to improve your style of taking images, but it can also be used to point the shamefull finger to say that you have manipulated your image way too much.....!!
I have also noticed that even to enter a photography competition, you have to be mindful that more often than not, there are 'limits' to the amount of post processing that you are allowed to do to an image.... Why?
I wonder, did anyone ever question Klimt or Picasso, or any of the great masters on the subject of which brush they might be using and why...?
In my humble opinion, modern day photography is a much better and accessible media today than it was in years gone by, not only because of the ground breaking technological advancement and massive processing power of the Digital Camera but also for the ability to be able to manipulate the RAW file data in so many wonderful and artistic ways.
I speak to many photographers and I often hear someone say that "the old film is much better than digital" and that "modern day prints are not a patch on the old darkroom prints".... It sort of smacks of the vinyl versus mp3 music debate... There are the purists who firmly believe that they can tell the huge apparent difference between music played from a vinyl disc to that from your iPod... Yes, they may be right because I can too; you don't get the crackles and clocks and the needle doesn't get stuck on your iPod....!
Of course in the humble Darkroom days all of the image manipulation and enhancements were done in the dark and with chemicals, filters and masks; the population at large did not have easy access to this type of costly equipment and fairly technical facilities. It was almost a little mysterious how this process was done and left to the "geeks of that time" I guess.....!!
With great thanks to the likes of Bill Gates at Microsoft and the late Steve Jobs at Apple; we now have very easy access to immense processing power that might sit either on our desktop or on our laps; add to this the World-Wide-Web and the plethora of social networking sites that have exploded over the past decade and the whole world is our photographic oyster....!
Seriously, I love the freedom to manipulate my images to how I visualise a particular scene or an image and I firmly welcome modern advancements in photographic technology and computer hardware/software technology ... I am truly grateful that I am able to take 200 or 300 photographs on a shoot and not worry that it is going to cost me the earth.... I can go home, download them and manipulate them (if I need to) to my hearts content.....!
Finally, there are some seriously talented folk out there producing stunning art from their photographs, getting a real buzz and having some great fun doing it and even more of a kick from sharing the work they create with their new "on-line" friends around the planet....
I say hooray for the digital era... Bring it on....