I’d like to follow up my post from a couple weeks ago regarding retouching and the general process of “Photoshopping.” To be clear this is not really part 2 of that post series. That will be on it’s way in a few days. This is more so the other end of the argument.
While it’s the best possible choice to get things right in-camera, sometimes it’s just not an option. By just not an option, I mean nowhere remotely close to an option. A good example is advertisement photography.
You probably know that no product or service is ever the same as you see it in an ad. EVER. If you disagree, I’d like you to compare your Whopper you’ll be having for lunch with the one on the menu. Sure – this is slightly different issue. That burger never existed in the first place – it was made out of mashed potatoes and spackle before the picture was even taken. Instead, let’s focus on something clearly different than the original picture.
You’ve probably seen this video:
That’s an issue that happens more than you’d think/more than you’d like to know/ALL THE TIME.
However, there is one reason to justify such an obscene level of post production – finances. Sometimes it’s just impractical to fly a model to outer Mongolia. If there’s a small budget, if time constraints are fundamentally impossible, or if the picture of the setting already exists – sometimes the picture can be stitched together later. Now, I know what you (might) be saying: “Where’s the photographic skill? isn’t that just going to breakdown to someone drawing on a computer until the final image looks ‘good enough’ ?”
Sure -there’s a descent amount of isolating, some burning/dodging, and a handful of trial and error. BUT…
The picture still HAS to be correct in camera. In many ways, it has to be “more correct” than a normal picture. It all comes down to my favorite part of photography: LIGHT.
If the background was photographed outside at sunset and the person/object was shot in a black studio with on-board flash, the color, angle of light, depth of field, and separation will look completely wrong . So many factors have to be considered, I feel this type of post production absolutely qualifies as “good photography.”
Of course, I’m always open to comments and varying opinions.
That said – here’s a small sampling of some “image combination” I started as a side project a number of months ago. Let me know what you think!