Monday, April 09, 2012

Cheating

A friend shared my sentiments about shooting at ISO 100 ("Old habits die hard") and mentioned that "when I go to [ISO] 400 I feel like I'm cheating". Well, I'm not sure about that being considered cheating. There are certainly more ways to cheat in post processing than the simple act of pushing up the ISO during the shoot. In fact, I can't seem to agree wholeheartedly with the current trend of heavy cropping and tonal manipulations of an original RAW image. Maybe I'm just lazy.

While I agree that a certain amount of post processing can enhance a photo, how much of the output can still be called photography if post processing is used as a substitute for good photography techniques? Many people can take a decent photograph and use processing software to create an amazing image. Does that make them good photographers, or good "image manipulaters"?

If you rely on Photoshop (or any other editing software) too much, you will form the habit of masking otherwise poor work with excessive editing. Personally, I like to see good images produced straight from the camera, but the saying that "the camera never lies" has never been further from the truth these days.

For instance, I once saw an amazing photo of Patagonia in a photo magazine, but imagine my annoyance when I realised that the "image" comprised three separate shots taken throughout the day and blended together. In other words, the scene never existed.

Anyway, here are a couple of photos shot at ISO 400 since that blog post. Cheating? Not unless you consider that it allowed me to hand hold the camera and shoot under low lighting condition indoors without flash.

Don't try to take away my water bottle! (Fujifilm X100, f2.0, 1/20 sec, ISO 400)

It's ok, I can drink from the cup. (Fujifilm X100, f2.0, 1/15 sec, ISO 400)

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