C’mon Photoshoppers: give me a break

photos,images,pictures,colors,howtowritebetter.net,how to write better,Suzan St MaurPhotoshop and its competitors certainly have given photographers the chance to enhance and manipulate images to a degree that would have been unthinkable even a few years ago. But has this colorful freedom gone a bit too far?

Much as I love the capabilities of Photoshop (or its equivalents) that permitted my dear god-daughter (of Kathryn Hardman Photography fame) to disappear several of my chins after she did my portrait shots a few months ago, I still have a problem with it.

It’s called Color. Or Colour, if you do British-based English.

Given than the natural world is so full of beautiful, often subtle colors, hues, shades and all that, why do contemporary snappers love to publish images shouting colors that could blind a horse at 100 metres?

Being a Taurean I love nature and respect the natural in pretty much everything. So vastly enhanced, wound-up colors in pictures I see online and elsewhere offend my eyes and make me want to whack the perpetrators across the face with a wet, dead, naturally colored fish.

Am I being unreasonable? Check out the following…

photos,images,pictures,colors,howtowritebetter.net,how to write better,Suzan St Maur

Have you ever seen a blue sky (clouds excepted) this color of indigo? Me neither.

photos,images,pictures,colors,howtowritebetter.net,how to write better,Suzan St Maur

Another indigo sky. I don’t think so,
especially at night.

photos,images,pictures,colors,howtowritebetter.net,how to write better,Suzan St Maur

As this looks suspiciously like Horseshoe Falls at Niagara, I know it well. And I’ve never seen a dark blue sky like that. Nor black grass in the foreground. Have you?

photos,images,pictures,colors,howtowritebetter.net,how to write better,Suzan St Maur

If grass really were this color the chlorophyll in it would jump up and bite you in the *ss. “Un peu” exaggerated, I think.

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Have you ever seen a mountain lake this color? No, neither have I. Even on a good day.

photos,images,pictures,colors,howtowritebetter.net,how to write better,Suzan St Maur

I’ve seen quite a few ponds and lakes in my time and despite some reverberating with colorful algae, this stuff is taking the wee-wee.

blog,writing,news,blogging,business,Suzan St Maur,HowToWriteBetter.net,how to write better OK. Am I being a boring old goat to whine about what I think is the wholesale abuse of genuine color in photographic images?

Or do you agree that more focus should be placed on sharing the unadorned beauties of nature, without brash enhancement?

Please share your views!

photo credit: paul bica via photopin cc
photo credit: paul bica via photopin cc
photo credit: paul bica via photopin cc
photo credit: dlco4 via photopin cc
photo credit: paul bica via photopin cc
photo credit: rappensuncle via photopin cc

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Thoughts

  1. OK, I like photoshop. What’s more I like taking photos (I’m still working on being able to take good ones).

    Some of the overdone colours can, in themselves, be a work of art. Nobody ever said works of art have to reflect reality, simply what the artist wants to portray.

    Having said that, there are some ridiculous pictures masquerading as reality, which have as much to do with reality as reality TV does (now, don’t get me started on that)

  2. I like some but not too much. This reminds me of Countryfile, a family favourite for Sunday evenings. There is one cameraman who insists on including a filter on his lens for landscape views – it annoys me and really is not necessary. Though we enjoy spotting him and have a chuckle…

  3. Are you another Taurean by any chance, Jon? 😉 I don’t mind highly tweaked color in some pictures and as you say, they can have artistic value in their own right. But to me luminous turquoise water, for example, makes a perfectly tranquil landscape scene look like special effects from a bad movie about a nuclear disaster.

  4. I’m glad you’ve said this, Suze. The occasional ‘manipulated’ photo is interesting, but it seems people just want to go one up all the time in a contest to see who can produce the most amazing image. In my view, this debases nature.

    I am so lucky to live in a remote area with outstanding views. My frustration is with my own poor knowledge and expertise in photography when I try to capture what I see without help from Photoshop.

  5. False colour has been around for years, even in the time of film where cross processing was a popular art-form and different types of film emulsion were developed in inappropriate types of chemicals, to produce unusual colour shifts; or where film sensitivity was changed, to enable the infra-red end of the spectrum to be recorded as colours not associated with the subject. The divergence of creativity and accuracy should never compromise honesty, but there will always be an appropriate place for creative colour replacement in the name of artistic licence. Playing with nature by falsifying the integrity of a picture in an attempt to deceive or misrepresent is dishonest, but where enhancement is legitimately used, it should always be disclosed.Nature should be honoured for what it is, natural, if we decide it fails to meet the standards we set, what business do we have making cosmetic changes to meet or own aesthetic pleasure. Mike recently posted why it’s not always good to use stock images for business websites

    • I agree with you, Mike. Fiddling with nature’s colors is dishonest unless it’s disclosed. And surely photographers who show us radioactive turquoise lakes (see above!) would do better to direct their skills towards obtaining the most artistic, beautiful, natural images?

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