This Summer, graphic designer Henry Hadlow created a series of images with friend Ed Cornish called “Tell A Lie.” The designers came up with the concept as a response to the doctoring and misrepresentation of images in photojournalism as a result of Photoshop.
Hadlow + Cornish’s project makes a very creative statement about ethics and integrity when portraying news in the digital media age. As a photojournalist, it’s morally wrong to impose two images together and call it news.
However, as a digital photographer, this series raises an interesting topic: How far do you take digital editing in photography? Is Photoshop the digital darkroom, or is it an easy fix with all of its filters and color adjustment options? Technology gives us so many tools to perfect our work and create the output we ultimately wish to produce.
This weekend, I went to the Art Institute of Chicago to view their photography collection, which includes images from 1839 to present. It was inspiring to see so many incredible photographs at one time, and it served as a huge reminder for me that the foundation of a good picture is composition and the intent of the photographer. The photographers whose art hangs on the museum walls did not have Photoshop to help enhance their images. They had to rely solely on perfect settings, proper lighting, and a stellar creative approach to portray their subjects.
The trip to the museum definitely inspired me to get a little more ‘old school’ with my work. I put down the digital SLR for the day and picked my 35mm camera back up to remove myself from the idea of instant gratification in photography. Even with all of these great gadgets and high tech fixes, images (and all art, really) should be powerful on their own.
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