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In my last article about Photoshop I spoke about people who edit there photographs so much and get thousands of favourites for doing so, great but it seems you have to use Photoshop these days to get any popularity what so ever, in fact if you have a great photo and you say you didn’t Photoshop it, people say your lying.

Surely if you put loads of textures over your image that should be photo manipulation. What does a texture add to a photo? Why do people put them on, other to make the image look pretty? And there is the problem, because it seems these days if your image doesn’t have one, it’s not as pleasing.
Another couple of fashionable things these days and things I see on nearly all the photos I see in the popular sections are:

Vignette, it seems everyone does this to a picture, sometimes its ads to the photo as it draws your eye to the subject, but I’ve seen it on nearly every photo I’ve seen, I’ve also seen it on every photo in peoples galleries. Some people have it as there kind of trade mark which is ok, but it seems it’s a huge trend.
In fact the whole retro thing is a huge trend at the moment, and mostly cross-processing is all the rage.
I can’t tell you how many retro, cross-processing tutorials, actions ect there are on DA, and everyone is doing it.
And it annoys me because in the popular section you will be hard pushed to see a photo that isn’t done in this style. And if you upload a photo that hasn’t got this effect on it, you get comments like, this is abit dull, could be more contrast, its too dark ect ect.
Again is this what we are all destined for, people following each other? To get favs and attention are we going to have to do what everyone else does?
Because if we don’t, people don’t like it, I’ve seen people do different and people seem to be scared of this.

Also the people who are popular, and I mean really popular have there own style, which is great, but everyone who goes to there site feels they have to do whatever that artist did to get popular, thus everyone copies everyone else’s style, and thus everything on DA looks the same.

I myself have got caught up with this craze, I found I really liked the effect and started doing it to a lot of my photos.
Then one day I put the same effect on a photo I did for my college work, I hadn’t really thought about it, I just did it, and I didn’t have a reason why I did it, and when I showed it to my tutor, he asked me what the hell I had done to the photo.  He told me the blacks looked washed out and it made the photo look bad. And that’s when I realized I had ruined my photo because my eye was trained to prefer this look. Kind of like when you prefer smash to real mash potato.

The point I’m trying to make is, lets not all be sheep and constantly do the same thing, I can’t be the only person who finds this boring, seeing thousands of photographs the same?
Lets not all rely on textures and effects to make our photos look better.
Let’s love photography for what it is and know the difference between photography and photo manipulation.
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:iconpinkteapot:
pinkteapot Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2008
i hate to be a bummer but i think as though you're fighting for a lost cause. but it's good that you're fighting for what you believe in. i really do! =D however, i think photoshop isn't the one to blame. i mean, photoshop is just like a darkroom (only digital) we can use for color correction, etc.

the problem lies upon the people who use photoshop, so they could follow the popular trends here in dA, and to also increase their popularity in the dA community. that's the sad thing. people submitting deviations for the sake of gaining A LOT of comments, views, and favourites.

i'm pretty unpopular here as well and i've been here for almost a year (i recently changed my account). but it doesn't bother me because whenever i get comments, views, and favourites, it means they stumbled upon my works and they really like it. =D

well anyway, it's sad that people succumb to the latest fad but try to remember that the ones who remain true to their artworks are the ones appreciated in the end. ;)
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:iconrebacan:
Rebacan Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2008
I agree with your article but the comments posted so far seem mostly to defend the photo manipulation trend. Perhaps there should be a category for nonmalnipulated photos where compostion and light are the stars.
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:iconnickchao:
NickChao Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2008  Professional Photographer
Interesting Read.
I do agree that it is unfortunate that so many people (myself included) have followed that trend. But it is also too bad for the people like myself who might actually really like that cross processed style. It's just personal preference but that vintage faded sort of nostalgic look can be aesthetically pleasing. I hate it when it is done poorly or done to an image that doesn't benefit from it at all. A little toning and vignetting can create an interesting mood.
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:iconmartybell:
martybell Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
i think it's good to get involved with photography and all of it's trends, i think that's part of photography.. it helps you find your own style and if you are good enough, you will know when each effect will work, rather than applying it to your WHOLE gallery

i'd hate DA if there was no trends and all un-edited pics.. it'd be like flickr ;)
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:iconthe3plesix:
the3plesix Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2008
Yes
Reply
:iconstrangecondition:
strangecondition Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
I do believe there's a point in Photoshop
where you should draw the line...
for instance: changing someones personal appearance
by weight, facial features, etc. The human itself
is a masterpiece. There's no need to go in and
take 6 inches off the hips, or slim the face up.
And as for the retro style, I do believe it's the fad right now,
but I also do believe it adds to a photo. Face it, some photos
just aren't appealing without some digital cross processing.
It can do a lot to a photo. I think it's a nice edit to pictures. But you can over do it to the point where everything is green/yellow/blue...and that, my friend, takes away from the photo. I prefer a low opacity if I ever chose to cross process in photoshop. But anyways, I sense that I am rambling. Goodbye
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:iconlittleblackduck:
littleblackduck Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2008
Oh, and about the bandwagon thing... Yes, I totally agree. Just take a look in your city's IRL art galleries and you can immediately see there is a "flavor" here, in a lot of work. I am not here to bash, but what you are saying is true.
Reply
:iconlittleblackduck:
littleblackduck Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2008
I have no real understanding either of the difference between a photograph and a photo manip. The way I think I understand is a manip is more than one image combined or significant alteration of the original image, or is that darkroom? :confused:

I think there should be a more clear definition in the galleries.
Reply
:iconhaine-rammsteiner:
Haine-Rammsteiner Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2008
I feel like it's impossible to not agree with you,because, as matter of fact, you said just what I've been saying since 2004 when I joined dA - with another account.

Browser the daily deviations is a exercise of patience, while you look after something that escapes from the "more of the same" vicious cycle that most of the artists here got into. It simply made me lost the *hot* I had for browser a random deviant or just check out my watchers' favorites. Nothing seems to surprise me anymore, as many artworks seems to be colored the same, the pictures - with rare exception - have the very same idea, effect, mood, poses. It even bring me some disappointment.

Maybe you'll say I'm being radical, but if you think a bit, you'll realize that this community is full with amateurs. Not because they're not know, but because of of the lack of originality. Even if the individual has 100k hits on his artworks, it got so much only because he did what everybody does, what everybody wants to see, not what he should do: original art.
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:iconshadesofskysong:
ShadesOfSkysong Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2008
Mm, I agree. I don't like how everytime you go onto the popular page, it's just the same people. And look, I don't have an issue with these artists themselves, but I don't like the concept of everyone being expected to do the same to try and be popular too. I think it would be much better to be unpopular, and yourself, than to be popular, and making art that doesn't mean anything to you.
Reply
:icongame-master-dit-gm:
game-master-dit-gm Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008
Good article.

Yep, it show us, that we must always continue to learn and keep an open mind.
Unnecessary effects are everywhere : and most of the time (based on 50M deviations), they don't help focussing on a particular subject or idea.
And when a random deviant point the fact that lots of people use PS as a substitute for compétence : some other say "don't touch my Photoshop !"
I particularly loved the " `larafairie Incident" [link] :rofl:

But this will be solved (hope :)), because peoples are more and more educated (with this kind of article), and see more different styles of photography (thanks to "Fair Exposure Algorithm").
It would be interesting to make this kind of article every year, to see if something changed :D
Reply
:iconshedreamsincolor:
SheDreamsInColor Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008   Photographer
I completely agree with you on the fact that photoshop is overly used. Now I'm not going to sit here and say that I don't use it, because I do but I only use it to adjust little things such as contrast or to maybe crop someones pimple out haha, and if I do use it then I specifically include it under the "photo manipulation" catagory.

I don't understand why everyone is getting so heated and upset. You're just stating your opinion. Well spoken.
Reply
:iconangelcrusher:
AngelCrusher Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2008  Professional Filmographer
i think alot of ';photographer' these days dont really have much clue on photography and probably couldnt even print a picture with a non digital camera. With digital cameras its so much easier, and does rely on how good/expensive your camera and attachments are. The richer you are, the better the photorapher, as they have a good digital camera, good lens and probably photoshop.
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:iconpetebarker:
petebarker Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2008
Sorry but thats absolute crap.
Reply
:iconangelcrusher:
AngelCrusher Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2008  Professional Filmographer
ok, maybe i took it too far, some digital photographers have knowledge of cameras...but outdoor shots, natural lighting, whats gonna be better, a photographer with a £200 camera, or a photographer with an £800 and £200 lens? If both photographers were talking photos of a face, an animal, an insect, you are limited by what you use. A person with a better, more expensive camera will get better images.
They might not even be great when first taken. Go into photoshop, crop the image to adjust the composition, adjust the levels, and they are seen are great photographers. So in theory, the richer you are, the more access you have to these options, and the better your images.
Not absolute crap, just not absolute truth.
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:iconjudgess:
Judgess Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
ps are tolls that can make your work be more creative, and i'm support that. The problem is, alot artist who not learn the basic, it's all bout basic.. like in drawing, you must know about basic shape, after that you can learn bout anatomy. once again it's bout the basic, alot ppl skip this important thing and ps (somehow) give you this privilages.

if you know the basic, i'm really sure you can be more creative when use ps (not make you a follower). how you can break the rule if you don't know anything bout the rules?

for me, just don't stop to use ps (explore all tools) and don't forget the basic.
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:iconchromerobot:
chromerobot Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
Is being popular that important? Here it is. Real simple.

If you want integrity then make photos how you like them.

If you want to sell out then make photos that copy what people are buying into.

It's your choice.

Done.
Reply
:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
this isnt really about popularity its mainly my opinion on being able to use photoshop dosnt make you a photographer, as some people seem to think, and i know there are people who think they are a great photographer even though they dont know how to use there camera or anything to do with photography exept pointing and shooting, yes you can make great photos by just doing that, but im talking about ppl who take a bad photo and make it better with ps, and i have seen this manyt times.
Reply
:icondavidlee1965:
davidlee1965 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
nice very nice .:camera:
Reply
:icondysturbedllama:
DysturbedLlamA Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008
Just a suggestion: Look over your grammar before submitting a news article. That was a bit painful to read.

My two cents: Photoshop does not turn a bad photo into a good one, period. Editing methods do not replace a photographer's skill and it won't ever. I challenge you to show me an original horribly taken photograph compared to the sparkling wonder it became after being run through photoshop.

Besides dealing with convenient computer software instead of chemicals and actual tools, there is actually very little difference between photoshop and a traditional wet darkroom.
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:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
im sorry about my grammer, but just because im dislexic dosnt mean i cant post an article, and i did spell check. but still sorry about that.

anyway i have seen many bad photos changed into good ones with a few textures or effects ect

my main point is if you can point a camera at a scene and then use photoshop to make that underexposed photo look brighter and then add a few color overlays ect does that make you a photographer. no.
if you can use photoshop you are skilled at using photoshop, you are not a skilled photographer.

yes you can do pretty much the same things in a wet darkroom that you can do with ps. but if you can use photoshop that dosnt mean you can use a wet darkroom or process your film.
and film photographers were gebrally and still are skilled photographers, they have to be, because they have tranied with a camera.
but there are loads of people who go out, buy a digital camera and because of the ease of putting there images on the computer and using editing softwere they find they can do stuff to make it apealing and then they get the idea that there great photographers and can charge people for it.

im not saying that you cant be a great digital photograopher who uses phtotshop.

i just mean some people abuse it.

i know what im talking about anyway.

thankyou for your opinion anyway
Reply
:iconstanlaberge:
stanlaberge Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008
PS, like a good camera is a tool. Exposure and lighting, composition and development are all parts of photography. The great masters knew how to find these things without darkroom manipulation. I do as well, but the digital age takes a little worry out of the process. I think digital creativity makes us all better artists. It allows us more freedom.
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:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008
well yes and no, to some it means too much freedom, abuse even and they think they can take anything like a photo in RAW and they will say oh god the lightings bad or its overexposed, and instead of doing what the masters would have done and thrown it away or re-shoot, they just think, oh ill edit it in ps and it will look great.

it causes lazeness and the skill of photography is gone.
nowerdays you dont have to be a skilled photographer you just have to be a skilled photoshopper.
Reply
:iconstanlaberge:
stanlaberge Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008
You have a beautiful portfolio. You are obviously very accomplished and well crafted. I am envious of your skill, but rely on PS to help with my own failings. On the other hand I don’t present my photography as photos,but use my photography to compliment my illustration and design.
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:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
ok well thats good.
i just got the inpression you were arging my point, but now im confused.

i wasnt talking about the use of photoshop with illustrators or graphic asrits who use photoshop as there main tool thats fine because thats what photoshop is used for.
i was aiming my article at photography.
Reply
:iconstanlaberge:
stanlaberge Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
Sorry for the confusion. I couldn't agree more with you. There are sorry few that can actually use a camera these days. I guess I use the same argument when it comes to art and design.
Reply
:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
well in my article the first comment you made seemed be in argument to my article, thats why larajade agreed with you, so i thought you didnt like me or somthing, but now i see you do.

thats why i got confused.

:)
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:iconstanlaberge:
stanlaberge Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
of course I like you, whats not to like. I know where larajade is coming from simply because I do feel PS is a digital darkroom. I am also a big believer in photography as an art form. My only downfall is that I don't have your ability to work my light meter and camera as well as you. You are truly gifted and I understand why you feel the way you do.
Reply
:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
heh i wouldnt go that far, there are people on deviantart better then me, but i like to think i do have skill :)
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(1 Reply)
:iconwizfrikiman:
wizfrikiman Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
While I'm a fan of photomanipulation (and a manipulator myself), I honestly don't believe that "Manipulators bring life to pictures". I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but that's the way I see it.
Reply
:iconwhitchurch:
Whitchurch Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008
I certainly agree that people shouldn't blindly follow, and certainly the retro look is overdone. Used in the right situations, it can look fantastic, but often there's no point to it.

And the photography/photomanipulation debate...maybe there should be a middle class? Because I don't think many images at the minute really fit into either. It isn't fair that someone who uses photoshop significantly should be put in the same category as someone who doesn't. On the other hand, there's a definite distinction in the amount of editing between [link] and [link] for example.
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:iconcweeks:
cweeks Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008
i like vignetting ... then again ... if you use a f/1.0 lens ... wide open during daylight ... or even an f/1.4 ...

it happens organically.

no need for photoshop at all ...

then again, with the above referenced lenses i'm only talking about shooting with film. i doubt most of the most popular photoshopping deviants have even shot that. ;)
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:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008
ha agree cweeks, alot of people dont know what film is :)
Reply
:iconcweeks:
cweeks Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008
and most of them never probably will.

to me it's like .. they're happy with "their medium," which is digital with HEAVY photoshopping...

but it's the samething ... many will never be popular beyond where they originally posted their work in the first place. ;)
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:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008
see i get many ppl having ago at me saying its art and it dosnt matter how its done its the end result, which is true, but some ppl take this way to far.
and again they say ps is a wonderfull tool but this also gets abused.

i have ppl saying that its just like a film photographer edits in the darkroom, no its not film photographers will hardly ever edit in the darkroom because film is good enough as it is.

i dont know its a huge debate, and i know what i mean.
Reply
:iconcweeks:
cweeks Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2008
put the art in "quotations," love. seriously, this actually just came up. i saw a friend's work and i was saying to myself, "there is no way to possibly light that shit." i showed it to an art director and he laughed.

we took a similar photo of mine and did some crazy shit to it. like 9 layers. it looked exactly like what my friend did.

since then i asked to see my friend's raws. not only were they "not even close" to what the end result looked like, the lighting was flat and not very appealing.

yes, of course, you can do plenty of things in the darkroom yet the traditional darkroom PALES in comparison with what one can do with a digital file or a scan of a neg or tranny. not "that" kind of tranny.

keep doing what you're doing. it's all good, love.

don't let the photoshop people get you down.
Reply
:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
i know the digital darkroom can do wonderfull things and yes it can make a photo even better, but as i said to someone else it can cause lazeness.
Reply
:iconjillauville:
JillAuville Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
I do believe I am guilty of everything you mention in your article :giggle:
I don't take offense at all though, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I've said this a thousand times before: life would be boring if we all thought the same thing... and DID the same thing, which is kind of what you're saying, isn't it?
Reply
:iconpainfullyiced:
Painfullyiced Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008
:clap:

I was wondering if I could quote you for a research paper...
You said alot of things that i would have liked to say, but we have to have quotes...
Reply
:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008
yes sure, your welcome to do so, if its possible to credit me then that would be nice.
Reply
:iconpainfullyiced:
Painfullyiced Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008
oh absolutely!
Full credit for your words

:}

I had a couple paths that I thought about going down, one was plagerism on the net, but it would've had nothing to do with what we were assigned... im kind've a fan of crediting people for what they've done
:)

I dont know how willing you are to give your information out, but if you note me (or perhaps i could note you), with your name, it could almost be cited as a "personal interview"
:)
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:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008
Im going to say this so people like larajade dont get confused.

i didnt say you cant like retro and textures and i know there are retro type images in my gallery.
i was stating that ps is overused.

i also didnt say people cant edit there images like with curves ect, or people who use photoshop cant be recognised as artits, i know ps is a wonderfull tool and can create really great stuff.

this article is about the overuse of the tool and the over edited images.

thankyou.
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:iconstanlaberge:
stanlaberge Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008
*bloodred1889
I think photography has taken many kicks since its inception. Like fine art, the most interesting work is always from someone that dares to take a stand and call a new technique or look, new. PS allows us to take bad photos and rework them so that they appeal to our own sensibilities. It's a tool. I use photocopiers to produce a portion of my work and many times the copy itself is just enough to make it interesting for me. We live in a wonderful time, with many new wonderful tools. I don't think we should waste time questioning the advantages of these things. We need only create and be thankful.
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:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008
ok so what your saying is ps is so we can make bad photos good?
thats not what photography is about, photography is about taking good photos with a camera, its a skill, cameras dont come with photoshop do they?

if you have a bad photo and you really like it and cant go re shoot it, then its ok to photoshop it to make it look better, but you are saying that the whole point of photoshop is to make bad photos better?
photoshop is a tool yes but there is so much more to it then over saturating photos, and adding textures.

yes its great to create new things, but my point was this whole cross processing trend is not new anymore and everyone thinks they can take any photo, bad or good, add a texture and some cross processing and it will be amazing.
photoshop is being abused in my opinion.

and people are starting to think that photography is about editing everything.
its not, photography is about capturing the world around us, composition, lighting ect.

i dont think im wasting time questioning this subject when clearly alot of people agree, and alot of photographers who rely on being talented with just a camera are getting shunned or overlooked because there images arnt pretty enough.

popular artists who call themselfs photographers just because they use textures and cross process 90% of there images are getting all the limelight, and i think this is wrong.

half the people on this site who rely on photoshop wouldnt get anywhere without photoshop.
I beleive and have been taught that you should be bale to work a camera and know it inside and out to call yourself a photographer and not have to rely on photoshop atall.
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:iconstanlaberge:
stanlaberge Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
*bloodred1889
Unlike you, I use my paint programs, (BTW, I think photoshop is over rated) to pull elements out of a photo for painterly usage. How do you manage to get and maintain your exposures?
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:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
i use light meters and my camera skills.
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:iconstanlaberge:
stanlaberge Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
I've never mastered the light meter. I think thats why I'd consider my photos as natural. That is possibly why I find PS helpful. I see by your profile you have started taking pics a while back. You are a natural. Have you managed to start making a living with them yet?
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:iconbloodred1889:
bloodred1889 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2008
no hehe.
im a student, i want to learn all i can before i actually start calling myself a photographer or making a living off it.
im going to be doing a BA in photography this september.

someone called my photography boring and average and that i thought i knew everything and that i was some kind of genious at it, but i dont think that atall.
i know im learning, and i know that im not a pro, unlike other people who just pick up a camera and think they are a pro.

but i want to carry on experimenting and learning all i can.
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:iconstanlaberge:
stanlaberge Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2008
your photos are not boring at all. Congrats on school. You sure have a great base to build on. You will go far. I find it interesting that you mix things up a little. Some still life and some portrature......whats your fave
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:iconlarafairie:
larafairie Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2008  Professional Photographer
Agreed very much so :nod:
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