A cure for Photoshop addiction? Letting go
November 21, 2008
Organic and natural. Foods that grow without the artificial interference of inorganic chemicals. That's the trend in food. The reason? Because natural is, well, natural. Therefore, it must be wholesome and healthful. It's what nature has given us for thousands of years.
However, the trend in Photoshop philosophy seems to be the opposite. Too many photos seem artificial, almost unreal, they stray too far from the original scene.
It's as if a musical group trying to make up for some shortcoming in talent simply turned up the volume. Or a chef poured in the sugar or spices and overwhelmed the natural flavors of the meal.
Perhaps most disturbing is the psychological motivation behind this. It's as if many of us are dissatisfied with both the world around us and our photos of it. Instead of trying to appreciate the subtleties presented us we have to amplify all the traits of picture and turn it into that loudmouth, blustering salesman who sells us not on product quality but by overpowering force.
Let's treat our pictures, especially those of natural things, more kindly and gently so as to preserve the natural beauty of our subjects and harmonize our minds with the world as it is. We will not Hollywood our portraits, tourism bureau our landscapes, or supermarketize our apples and strawberries.
We will celebrate the world around us for the way it is (well almost the way it is) and accept more of life's flaws and imperfections, because that's the way life is. Since we are imperfect ourselves, accepting the imperfection around us may make us better people—and better photographers.