It is not secret that photoshop is an integrate part of my creative process and my image making, today it is actually an extension of my photography. Photoshop has become a major tool in realizing my creative ideas but it has also fueled my creative thinking. When I post new work on the various social media platforms there are a lot of folks out there that criticize my work and hate photoshop. If you read my article “no-cares about your photography” one should ignore that fact. When it comes to photoshop haters I don’t ignore, It gives me energy and motivation.
To understand I need to go back in time. My great great grandfather had a beautiful horse and carriage which allowed him to travel around. He had several servants including a messenger that in case my great great grandpa needed to send a message to the other side of the country, the messenger did that. This man rode his horse for a couple of days to the recipient of the message and politely waited for an answer to return that. Today I use my mobile device to communicate and send several messages at the same time to a group of people. My grandfather had a car, a ford model T and a camera, a 3a special Kodak with phosphor flash. He made beautiful unsharp grainy photographs with lots of light leaking and dust and scratches. Compared to the modern camera a whole one mega pixel of sharpness.
Today I am using a DSLR, a Nikon D810 to be precise, and sometimes a studio full of strobes and different light modifiers. When in the Field I often attach different filters in front of my lens to create certain effects the eye cannot see. A 10 stoppers that blurs the water, it is like photoshop on camera. It creates something that is not real. My grandfather could not do this. What my grandfather and I had in common was our love for beautiful imagery. Vermeer was a painter we both love. Johannes Vermeer was a famous Dutch master known for his beautiful landscapes and dramatic skies. One of his tricks was that he would dodge and burn his sky to paint them more dramatic. Sometimes it took him weeks to finish a particular scene and started of with painting his foreground and then 10 days into the painting, a rainstorm came in. He then decided to paint that sky instead of the boring blue one. Basically those masters were the first real PS artists!
Thanks to technological innovations we have been able to do more and more complicated things the easy way. Photoshop for me is one of these innovations. I see photoshop as the ultimate dark room that fits on a disk and I can take the darkroom wherever I go.
I love when people say the hate photoshop but yet they put a 10 stop filter on their camera and call themselves purist. They look at my images and comment “Photoshopped”. I proudly reply “YES” thank you, “It is”. I use the LEE 150SW filters all the time but when I don't have them with me I take advantage of every technological innovation that can help me grow as an Artist and in my creative process. In photoshop I can replicate what my super-stopper can do by blending many exposures together. (below a video for people that don't know what a Super Stopper filter is- Video copyrighted by LEE Filters)
Thanks to Photoshop my creative identity has evolved to something I never dreamed possible. Although I love the idea to take a trip with horse and carriage, I am very happy I have modern car with all the comforts to drive from "a" to "b". Sometimes even without purpose, sometimes just to take a drive. I love the fact that I can text my mother who lives 10K miles away rather then sending a messenger that would take more than a decade to get back with an answer. I do still own “OLD Cameras” and love playing around with them. I love experiencing nostalgia when using them but I so love the time where we live in today even more, with all the technology available to us. Maybe the haters are afraid of evolution, afraid of change or hate driven by a lack of knowledge.
When you can’t light like Annie Liebovietz, you are not going to hate lighting but when you cant retouch like her retouchers she hires then suddenly the haters don't like the photographs anymore. If you remember Annie’s Disney portraits tis was 20% in camera and 80% photoshop. She needed PS to create her look. Many of the haters make it easy on themselves to just hate rather then investing time in studying light and learn photoshop. Below of video of the behind the scenes of one the the most iconic photographs out the series. The end PHOTOGRAPH is a result of many images blended together and incredible photoshop work. A big inspiration for me.
So thank you haters, I feel motived with every negative comment to create my next image even better then the previous one. What are you? Do you love photoshop? Are you a hater too, share us your opinion..