Photoshoped image or original?

All photographs by Prabhat

There was a time when a good photograph often invited query like which camera or lens you have used. By the time it has changed a bit, people now question whether it was a Photoshoped image or original? I have come across many people who do not forget to mention that their’s is a mobile picture.

But I really know no one asking a painter what canvas or color or brush they used? People simply enjoy the creation. So why it is with a photograph they want to have details of the camera or lens? Probably, they believe that by using the same gears they will be able to get a picture worth appreciation. And when they mention use of mobile for making a photograph, they probably intend to impress you by their skills or may be by the quality of the phone camera they own.

But does it really matters! Any expensive or best phone camera should not be compared with a DSLR as they belong to different genres and purpose. We should consider the technical limitations of a phone camera and also keep in mind that what counts is the ultimate result and not the means. It is not just about technical skills but treatment of subject and narrative also matters.

No doubt phone camera quality has tremendously improved in last decade and this improvement goes on so well that mobile phone manufacturing companies now only advertise new camera features. Compact cameras are on the verge of being history. Though, personally I don’t approve selfies but make pictures and videos by my cell phone more often. Even, when my camera hangs around my neck. But, how it affects viewers of my photographs? If they find substance in it, they would enjoy otherwise walk away. Simple. Did I tell you that all images in this post, including its cover, were made by my Asus Zenfone 2? Though I always refrain sharing this kind of information but this is just to make my point clear.

And Photoshop! It’s a tool to enhance the visual elements in photographs, it’s digital darkroom as we use to have earlier to develop our films or make prints. And we know about tricks which were used in darkroom for making a print better. So, I don’t think Photoshop should be termed any different from original.

“The tremendous development of the camera in recent years has been remarkable. Now almost anyone can take pictures, and most of them are doing. But it is rather like giving a 6-year-old a pistol” and don’t laugh if I say that it’s a quote of Arnold Genthe what he said back in 1937.

More on this topic, in next posts. Meanwhile keep on shooting!!

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