(I REALLY hope that's what the little card said.)
Photoshop. The death of great photography. Don't get me wrong, I think photoshop is awesome! I just believe it is an art within itself. Too many people take and use it to cheat in the photography world. You can do some things on photoshop that aren't cheating, in my book anyway. But there are a million things you can do with it to change your snapshot into a work of art. Photoshopped images are an art within themselves. They can't compete with the true genius of photography.
It seems that photography is a dying art, in that people can cheat in it now. It's hard to tell what's real and what's completely fake. Maybe I'm just completely out of the loop, but from where I stand true photographers are being killed. Who is killing them? The answer is not a who but a what. Digitization is killing them. People can snap, snap, snap away on their cameras then just delete the ones they don't like. (I confess, I do that sometimes.) People who know NOTHING past point-and-shoot methods are buying expensive DSLRs. They buy all the fancy lenses then take pictures of their kids' birthdays--basic snapshots. The camera never gets off auto. If the picture has red eyes, no problem. Pop it up on photoshop and zap the redness out. Zits? Easy-Peasy. With a few clicks the pains of adolescence are gone, and everyone has perfect skin! Eye colors can be changed. Heads and bodies switched around. Locations, backgrounds, foregrounds, shirt color, clothes in general, even shadows can be changed with a few clicks here and there. The joy of getting that perfect shot is gone! Digitization takes that excitement away.
Recently I went to a gallery. It was featuring a young and new photographer. Her name is Kristy Jordan. I walked through the gallery and looked at each picture. Each picture was of a person. A close up. Their eyes crystal clear. Their zits all still there. Their smiles crooked or straight. Their fly-away hairs sticking up. Their nostrils flared. Some even had food on their faces (haha, but it was supposed to be there)! Most of the pictures were in black and white. The classic picture look.
Each subject peeked out of their shot. Each said someone about both the photographer and the viewer. (The subject said stuff, but not as powerful as the other two.) The photographer said "This boy is becoming a man, but he's not sure about what kind of man." or "This girl wishes she had her prince charming. Little does she know he's already in her life." (Not exact quotes.) The viewer could either say "Woo, more portraits. Ew a zit!" and move on. Or the viewer could say "Wow. I wonder how that person is doing. They look hurt." The first viewer belonged to the "photoshop artists" guild. They're the type of people that don't understand the point of photography. The second viewer listened to what the photographer was saying. They heard them loud and clear and understood every thing. The second group are true photographers. (I fell closer to the second group, by a lot.)
After looking at all the pictures, I read the short paragraph about Ms. Jordan's work. She talked about how people's faces tell stories. Their eyes say so much, if you just listen. I don't remember exactly what the paragraph said, because that wasn't important. What was important is why she chose that subject type. She chose it because so much can be said in simplicity. That's what art is. It tells a story in it's colors or shades. It tells a story in a snap or a second. (A picture is worth a million words.)
Then I saw the camera that Kristy uses. It's a classic camera, with plates and a cover. Images come in upside down. She catches them and turns them upside right. If I didn't think it before, I knew right then Kristy was a true artist. She was one of those few people who have photo emulsion running through her veins. (Actually that would kill her, but you get it.) Cross my heart, hope to die, Kristy Jordan is a true artist--a true photographer. I'm so lucky to know someone so straight up awesome.
I know that I'll be calling her for my wedding photos when that time comes. And in the mean time I really hope her photographer takes her places--places she wants to go.