Rules for Digital Alteration

In his article at Black Star Rising, David Saxe gives “My Eight Simple Rules for Digital Image Alteration.”

It’s a great article and well worth a read.

For me, #4 and #5 are the most controversial. I struggle with these. Not to say that photographers who do them are wrong, it’s just me.

Now these are so much more easily done with the new Photoshop CS5 selection tools. Would I do them? Yeah, sure. But I think I would also note it somewhere that I did digitally retouch / alter the original photograph.

Why? I believe I would feel cheated if I looked at a beautiful photograph of, say an abandoned shack on the side of a mountain, then went to visit the location and saw that there were stuff / trees / garbage / etc. that were removed from the original photograph.

It’s a great photograph — and it’s even art — just not an accurate representation of the place. I guess it depends what people owuld take away from admiring the photograph.

If they say, It’s a great photo! Then I’m fine with it. It is a great photo.

But, if they say, What a beautiful place! then I believe this is where it’s important to not deceive the audience and to step in and let them know that there was digital alteration involved.

Read the article at: Black Star Rising.