April 21, 2010

SOOC -Straight Out of Camera or Digitally Modified (Post Processed!) - My Dilemma

I am fan of SOOC images. Photography is an art and photos whether SOOC or digitally modified, represent that art. After I developed interest in photography,I have checked out many photography websites. I see abundance of digitally modified photos compared to  SOOC images, on these websites. I love,appreciate and respect good photos even though they may be digitally modified and consider them as pieces of art. But when it comes to myself, I am all for SOOC images. May be because I am still a beginner or may be because I am not that tech savvy! I do not know. I, too do ,basic modifications like cropping or sharpening etc. if needed. But each time I do even these simple operations, I feel that I have cheated. Am I right  in this feeling? I have raised this issue on different photography websites and people have really blasted me for my views! But I still hold on to my view that SOOC images have more soul and heart in it. Images of Henri Cartier-Bresson or Margret Bourke-White of Life Magazine will always remain in our memories and I do not think they had any modification technology in their time.  Even today, their photos do not seem outdated because the story element is very high in their photos. Perspectives,angles,emotions,lighting all matters a lot.To get it right, at first go or without any artificial aid, itself is commendable.  Digital camera has  made today's photographer's life easier. Today we have a luxury of discarding image if we are not satisfied with it. And on top of that we also have luxury of software like "Photoshop" etc. which helps us in perfecting our photos. So how much value should be given to photographers of the old and how much to the current crop of photographers whose majority of work is being done by computers? My this question to photo community has raised hackles. I am yet to get satisfactory answer for this. Majority of photographs today are digital art. I love such images too. sometimes as much as I love SOOC images. But I feel that, in today's world digital art rules the roost.  It seems that technology has taken over all aspects of our life.Post  Processing is given too much importance even when you learn photography. When you take a photograph, on back of your mind,you are always aware that even if something goes wrong you have computer to correct it. I do not think this is the right emotion to have when you photograph. I am still a beginner. May be I will change my views once I go ahead on my path. But at this moment my dilemma continues.

1 comment:

Anureet Kaur said...

The Dilemma for me too continue; since I am in this quest as well.

I only modify my photographs [shapening, contrasting] and changing into Black and white. I guess if we limit ourselves to this; it would be better.

I do not use photoshop, since sometimes we can be too tempted to change a photo and add some background for making it shimmering.

The best tip I learnt is to always capture a picture without reminding ourselves about photoshopping. :)