Post- Pixilated Psychosis

I have recently upgraded to the newest version of Adobe Photoshop CS5 and have been doing a training course on its full range of capabilities. First of all let me preface this with I have been a Photoshop user for a very long time since some of it’s earliest incarnations and have steadily grown with all their advancements. It has been a while since I have done an upgrade stopping along CS2. It got to be a point were the new versions were not really much of an advancement. But to make the leap from 2 to 5 seems to be a complete redesign that warranted me to buy into a 21-hour training program. Granted the program has become easier to access and run and has a whole new slew of tools, but somehow after looking at the introduction it seems the once powerful and creative software has become a major fix-all program for bad photographers. It seems that it’s taking the creative ingenuity that photography is based on and now sending out the message it’s OK to create bad images, we can now help you simply fix your inability to take great pictures. I guess what’s more disturbing is that with the hefty price tag this bag of tricks is aimed at the professional photographer. Suddenly you can remove people from beautiful landscapes as if they never existed, circle, highlight, and at the click of a button it automatically matches the surrounding pixels and the original image is altered forever.

To me this concept of total alteration of the image begs to answer the question is the art of photography becoming extinct? Do we no longer have to worry about exposure? Have composition and the beauty of creation become passé? It seems the skill and the artistry that originally drew me to photography as an art form is slowly losing its magical allure. I began in the era of film and processing and printing by hand. Becoming infused with the image as one, emerging on a white piece of paper in the wet darkness. Granted I embraced the digital medium, and think it has made my work flow faster, but I still am enamored with the process of creation of thought of balance of harmony. I worked to create the images I wanted and the images become a part of my own sense of inner satisfaction. It’s what sets us apart as craftsmen. So the real question is if we are not confronted by the artistry of what we are doing, does it constitute art or does it become a mistrewn mess of maladjusted pixels that represents art. Do we give up on the actual creative process when mediocre is acceptable? I don’t know what the answer is anymore. I look at so many photographers’ websites that create such uninteresting images because the only interesting thing in them is the manipulation? Yes I know ultimately it is about choice, but we really can’t learn and grow from our mistakes if we are merely taught that everything is fixable because we choose to be lazy or sloppy in what brings us to the medium from the start. Creative choice is a powerful tool when we wield it wisely and are forced to be confronted by the choices we make. Perhaps I am just getting old, though I do embrace the modern technology. I just question its end result. I guess it’s ultimately about creative choice no mater how you approach it. Looking back this is probably what the painters during the second half of the 1800’s were saying as Georges-Pierre Seurat was developing his style of impressionism.