agfa brovira, bikers mardi gras, collage, d.teoli, daniel d. teoli jr, daniel teoli jr, darkroom, documentary photography, hahnemuhle, moondog, moundesville wv, over processing, photoshop, social documentary photography, Teoli, wet print, wheelchair, wheeling wv
In honor of
Tom Howard & Murray Becker
When it comes to over-processing and over-retouching…it is all in the eye off the beholder. What is over-processed for one person is under-processed for another – you can never argue taste when it comes to art.
Sometimes people ask on the forums about the legitimacy of Photoshop creations. Artistic photography and heavy retouching has a long history going back to the Pictorialism movement.
If a cam is used in the making…it is photography of some sort. That definition can be stretched as well – photograms are considered photography even with no cams used.
I don’t do composites. I’m not that creative, nor do I know how to use Photoshop. Not being a Photoshoper does not matter to me. I’m an old film photog and I can use Lightroom good enough to replicate what I did in the wet darkroom and that is all I need.
Leica Monochrom file processed for film simulation.
A vintage wet print on Agfa Brovira versus a digital scan processed with Lightroom and printed with an Epson 3880 Inkjet printer on Hahnemuhle Ultra Smooth Matte paper.
If I did know how to use Photoshop and had some artistic talent I would probably do some composites here and there. In any case, there are no photo police to make the rules. If you have a paying client or enter a contest, then there may be rules. But if you do your art for yourself – then yourself is all you have to please. If you like creating on Photoshop, create all you want.
When the subject turns to documentary photography, composites, just like computer generated movies, should not passed off as the real McCoy. Same with mixed media when one starts painting and drawing on the photo or neg and the document gets materially changed. As a documentary photographer I try to keep my finished product somewhat true to the original, but sometimes I add a little ‘art’ to it. Since I am not working for a client, I do as I please. I draw the line when my changes to a photograph would make a material change to its truthfulness.
We have tools as photographers that we can use to call attention to our image. We all use some of these tools to one degree or another….high or low contrast, HDR, grain, color whether muted, bold or selective, BW, sharpness, diffusion, composition, bokeh, lighting, etc. It is just some of us are more extreme in the attention seeking than others…
Yes…I can do ‘plain Jane’ work too.