Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A Random Thought About Editing Photographs.

So the season has pretty much ended on Iona, and so I have had some brain space/time free up. I'm thinking of trying to do shorter entries on some of the random thoughts that rattle around in my head when I'm supposed to be thinking about something else. I have loads of these, often interesting (to me at least) and very, very random.

Today's thought, for instance, is about editing photos. I've been scrolling through Pinterest, looking at all the exciting things I can't have and places I can't go and I keep coming across extremely heavily edited pictures of scenery. After a while I noticed I was just scrolling past them without really looking. I stopped to ask myself why and I responded with "they bug me". After more interrogation I've worked out why.

How insulting is it to the planet that we as humans thought "That sunset is pretty, but I need to edit the colours to make it better"? What's wrong with us? Look at the world we live in. It is stunning. We don't need to ramp up the colour saturation on a sunset, it is beautiful all by itself. Yes, some sunsets are more breath-taking than others but think about it - you are watching the evidence of our survival happening. The sun, giving just the right heat to our planet making life possible, giving way for the moon, controlling the tides and waters of the world making life possible, because of things like Earth's rotation and gravity... making life possible. This incredible thing happening before someone's very eyes and they go home and think it could have been more pink. Idiot. This doesn't just apply to sunsets, but it is the most common of all the photoshopped pictures. Usually the ones that end up with inspirational twattery written in large friendly letters that dominate the internet and dentists waiting rooms.

The other thing is that some people believe that its real. I can tell when a photo has been played with, possibly because I'm into photography myself, but some folk buy into it. Making the unedited photos of the landscape look somehow lacking, even though that is what it actually looked like. Unless you can't guess from this, I don't touch up my photos. Not even to make it less blurry or anything like that. I either have the skill to take a good picture in the first place or I don't. But that might just be me that thinks that. The only thing I do is put some colour pictures into black and white or do things like invert the colours or increase the saturation and contrast so much it has that pop arty cartoonish look, but very rarely and only when it suits it.

I guess that might be the line for me, whether we're talking about photography as art or photography as a picture capturing what was there in a particular moment. Yes, they can be both, I admit that. That being said, maybe the art in it for me is what was really there; the world around us being the best piece of living artwork there is.