The Photoshop Dilemma

There was a time I refused to have Photoshop on my computer. I have gone back and forth on the idea countless times and still struggle with it despite using the program almost daily. To me, it feels like cheating. I have always prided myself on strong creativity and innovation without the use of excessive editing. I feel there is more integrity and a realism that cannot be matched with my non-Photoshopped work. To me, that is truly art. People are wowed by the idea that I created something so interesting without technology. It both excites and saddens me.

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The photos that inspired the direction I started to take my photography in were created without Photoshop. They are in fact,  fan  favorites during my art shows and I have sold four sets (eight copies) of the photos shown above.

I am excited by such a lovely compliment, yet saddened by the fact that my photos were only considered “amazing” after my long explanation on how I did not use of heavy Photoshop in the making of the photograph. I instead, created the situation and simply took the photos. It was assumed that noting like that could be created by human alone, it must have had the help of a machine- a program that manipulated reality and enhanced creativity.

It became heartbreaking to see so many jaw dropping, award winning images all created by what I always considered “cheating.”  My photos didn’t come close to what those Photoshopped images embodied despite my innovative creations and well thought out ideas. We live in a society that expects a lot with little effort, that is not easily impressed, is easily distracted and constantly searching for the latest and greatest. Throughout history so many beautiful, brilliant minds have gone underrated or fallen by the wayside and I think the problem only escalates as technology advances. Technology truly is our greatest empowerment and impending demise.

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One of my favorite photoshopped images I have done

As odd as it sounds I interpret the phrase “starving artist” as a compliment. What I hear is: “Artist who refused to compromise their integrity despite those around them.” Unfortunately, we no longer live in a time where that is an option. Artists must keep up with the changing times if they’d like to keep a roof over their heads. I have embraced the fact that photoshop is a necessary evil that I must befriend. In fact, I currently have a green screen in my studio that I use often. It is a lot of fun to place my subject anywhere I can imagine and create fantasy worlds. I am being just as creative and coming up with concepts, I’m just executing those concepts differently.

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Photo for local Miami artist AD

Being able to adapt is  important in every aspect of life. I am learning the difference between adapting and compromising, art is 100% interpretation and can be created using anything….

But most importantly art is magic.

Art: the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, 

appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

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Falling Up Studios


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