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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Photographers Lie

"I don't use Photoshop"

"I shoot film"

"Her skin/eyes/hair really look like that"

Photographers tell tall tales. A lot. Sometimes they do it for social cachet. Sometimes they do it to sell prints. Sometimes the do it to deflect criticism.

There's nothing to be done about it. In general you can't actually prove that the model's freaky plastic skin is the result of excessive photoshopping, and unless there's money or liquor on the line, what's the point?

I occasionally think about starting a flickr identity that shoots "film" in which I post only pictures from my phone, making sure to give rich blacks and not to blow the highlights. Then I think to myself that in the first place it would obviously work, so what exactly am I proving here, and in the second place there are probably 1000 guys out there doing it Right Now.

A corollary is that when someone says they can Just Tell when something is shot on film, or in medium format digital, or whatever, if they're not currently hunched over a 16x20 or larger print with a good quality loupe, they're just plain wrong.

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