Have you ever thought of doing tricks on your photographs? How far can it go? Do you think this is a dishonesty?
I mentioned previously I am not a big fan of Adobe Photoshop although I use the software such as Firework and Photoshop from Adobe CS6 almost every day in my workplace.
To me, Adobe Photoshop is an indispensable commercial program to enhance and edit graphics (though I also use a freeware called IrfanView quite a lot). The current version is the 13th release since the first in 1990 for Macintosh. It has become the most popular commercial graphics editing product since then. Now everyone knows Adobe Photoshop can do tricks. Doing tricks does not mean evil and is widely demonstrated in the showcase of the unique features Adobe Photoshop is providing.
While I was writing this post, I came across a blog post written by Ming Thein on the subject of photographic integrity. I like the content(and other reviews on this site) of it and would highly commend you to read as a reference. Ming Thein points out the various photographic needs in cases such as taking a photo as a documentary or for a commercial purpose. As a commercial photographer, there is always a need for retouching to make the best out of the image to appeal to the viewers. It is obviously hard to set a boundary of how far you can go. The clients may want you to go to the extremes. I have not been a professional photographer of any kind so I cannot share my experience on this. But you can end up becoming addicted to Adobe Photoshop tricks. There are heaps of books in which you can learn to do tricks effectively.
Almost all of my photos were processed through Adobe Lightroom. Recently I did some Black and White processing (If you interested in viewing the whole collection, check out my 500px portfolio). I am not sure whether to many of you, creating a B/W effect on a photograph is already considered as an alternation despite you have done nothing to change the composition and adding or reducing some details. The effect of B/W is definitely an alternation of colours. You can manipulate filters to change highlights and shadows and re-adjust the distribution of the grey scale. I admit I may do B/W effect tricks to create a nice looking image.
But I set my limit: not to change (adding or removing) any of the objects of the image. I use cropping if I think something is distracting and not helping to convey the message. Or simply abandon it and take another one.
There is also a case written by Tim Parkin on why the winner of the landscape photographer of the year has been disqualified. Is this a result of Adobe Photoshop addiction? I have no idea. The disqualified photographer admitted that he did not read the regulations good enough to know adding clouds and cloning out details are not allowed. This is not the first time I heard from the news that a photographer is disqualified because of cheating. Those who cheat are not nobody.
Photographic dishonesty is not uncommon. We often emphasise how important academic honesty in the university. But how pathetic it is to see many of us are not taking honesty or integrity seriously in the real world.