But… but… it’s not REAL !!!


David de Leeuw

David de Leeuw

I often use Photoshop to enhance my photographs. Nothing too spectacular – brighten up some parts of the picture, maybe sharpen a bit or remove some ugly details. This, of course, leads to a number of trolls critics who cry out: FAKE! We’re being CONNED! They insist a photograph must not be manipulated, ever.

Most who voice this opinion are blissfully unaware of the fact that quite a lot of the great photographers of the pre-digital era already manipulated the hell out of their pictures in their dark rooms. Strangely, no-one accuses a Jacob Olie or an Eva Besnyö of forgery. They are, and wisely so, evaded by the perhaps somewhat darkly motivated 21st-century comment crusader who strolls across the internet to expose “frauds” – thereby compensating their own lack of exposure.


Before & After: find the differences

And hey, what about Rembrandt or Van Gogh? Was it REAL what they did? Maybe artists should stick to copy-pasting reality? Or just photographers? God forbid they show us a world of magic that Is Not Real!

Another “It’s Not Real!!!”-cry emerges from folks who insist the puddles I often use to create reflection images are not real altogether. “There is no canal at Nieuwmarkt!” said one commentator after I posted a puddle picture taken at the aforementioned square. Apart from being obviously vision-impaired (a true reflection and a copied reflection are distinguishable) and unaware of perspective effects (a puddle up close often looks like a big lake) I think some people just lack a little faith. Or a life.

David de Leeuw

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