Stolen from the BJP blog.

Too much Photoshop?

Right now there are dozens if not hundreds of final year photography students musing the veracity of photojournalism in the digital age for their graduation thesis. So this one's for you....

Earlier this year the judges of Denmark's Picture of The Year contest decided to ask some questions about a set of pictures they felt uncomfortable about. Just how much Photoshopping had been done? Did the pictures cross the line between simple cropping and enhancement into unseen territory?

They asked Klavs Bo Christensen to submit his unedited raw photos from Haiti, and they didn't like what they saw. To them, the colours in the edited comparisons were 'too much', too 'surreal', and ultimately they rejected them. But, says the aggrieved photojournalist, can you really judge reality by looking at a raw file?

'In my opinion, a raw file has nothing to do with reality and I do not think you can judge the finished image and the use of Photoshop by looking at [it]... 'There are also huge differences between raw conversion tools, and on how the files from different cameras are converted. And there are significant differences in the profile you choose to use in the conversion tool for each camera.'

Now pressefotografforbundet.dk presents the before-and-after shots in a translated article that offers a fascinating insight into the dilemmas faced by photographers, editors, jurors and just about anybody with a healthy interest in news media.

There's no doubt about the striking difference between the two sets of images, but are they any different from a little old-fashioned darkroom magic? And if a raw file doesn't constitute a sufficient 'digital negative' can any such thing ever exist? Does it really matter when a simple change of shutter speed would have delivered a different image anyway?

Personaly I think too many photographers are realying on post production. The days of clean backdrops and good make up are over. But I am not about to go off on one again, its like flogging a dead horse....

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