Photoshopping — Is It An Art?
Sure, anyone can shop together some random images for fun, but when artificial photos get good enough to trick the whole world, hasn't it become something else?
Is Photoshopping just a technical means to an end, or has it become a new art of the modern world?
Photoshopping is the term used for altering images with a computer. Photoshop is the program most people use to do it, though there are some free alternatives, such as Gimp. These programs have gotten good enough that most users can create their own fake pictures. There are Photoshop contests all over the internet; competitions where photo-shoppers all over the world create amazing new images out of the original pictures. I've been involved in the Photoshop contests at cracked.com, which are a humorous take on the world of image manipulation. I find that when creating contest entries, I'm not just making a joke out of clippings of pictures, I'm creating an original piece of art.
Through the art classes I've taken in high school and discussions of art with my parents, I have gotten an understanding of the elements of art. I know which colors work well together, the importance of space in an image, the movement between shapes and line within art, and sometimes I actually remember to include some of these elements of design in my Photoshopping. But when you get the right person putting images together just the right way, the product is definitely art.
But Photoshop is not always used transparently. There are images you see every day you didn't even know were completely altered. This can disastrous to our society. Every picture of a model in a magazine or webpage has been modified to the point of super-human beauty; this is the beauty everyone wants to achieve, but now it exists at an unachievable level. Is this really what we want?
All in all, the ability to turn original photographs into a final product through a process of artistic choices and technical skill has become a new media of art. I think this serves our world in a positive way.
Well, maybe there's a few exceptions.
What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments below!