That was the horrified statement made by one of my students (we had 25 in the D-80/D-90 class last night) after I made a reference to the joy of editing photos. She was quite indigent that anyone would dare manipulate a photographic image. Well hold on now. Let’s go back to Ansel Adams the iconic photographer of the American south-west. He never got famous until he learned how to use red filters to change the contrast ratio of his black and white images. I’m mean what’s natural about exposing silver particles to chemicals on pieces of paper? Even Polaroids could be manipulated.
I have no issue if you insist on shooting in straight photojournalism style but even photojournalists don’t shoot and produce images that way. Everybody dodged and burned their images and now they use the digital darkroom to get their images to look more like how they remembered the scene when they shot it.
Of course my student got on her high horse about advertisers manipulating images of models and my answer is it sold more bikinis or laundry detergent or whatever.
I don’t care what kind of photographer you become. Couldn’t care less what kind of shooting you do but don’t tell me what others are doing is wrong.
My goodness what will she think when she sees HDR stuff like this one by Trey Ratcliff (Stuck in Customs website) is Mr. HDR and one wonderful photographer who is pushing the limits of what we thought was possible when it comes to capturing an expanded range of exposures in one image. Here’s his link to his HDR tutorial.