I was very interested in the Edgar Martins photo-essay in the New York Times, Ruins of the Second Guilded Age, mostly because it was vaguely similar to my own study of abandoned architecture. A few people had even sent me links to it making sure I had seen it. Now it is the subject of controversy and scandal because the NYT has removed the essay from it's web site after it became clear that the photos were digitally manipulated. The original essay notes claimed that Martin uses long exposures, but no digital manipulation of his images. That claim was quickly debunked on several blogs...

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Art Most Fierce

It annoys the daylights out of me when photographers lie about the amount of digital manipulation in an image. When the hell are photographers going to get over the shame and self consciousness of the art vs.non art elements of photography as a medium. This goes back to the original debates of the pictorialists vs. straight photography, and continues today with bold faced lies about Photoshopped alterations being portrayed as documentary truth.

I'm not a fan of digital manipulation. I don't own the full version of Photoshop and never intend to buy it.I use basic Photoshop Elements, because the only thing I want to do with my images is no more than what I would be able to do in a darkroom. I want my digital photography to be as close to the authenticity of film photography as possible. That doesn't imply a right or wrong judgement upon digital manipulation, it is just the way I choose to approach my craft.

Those who choose to digitally alter and filter their work have every right to do so. Computer technology has opened up a vast new world of photographic expression and potential. Go for it! But please, don't lie about it and shamefully pass it off as straight photography. By doing so you are hindering the entire photographic medium, and sending us back to the dark ages of photography.
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