Photoshop is something I have never really gotten into. For a long time I thought the program was something for graphic designers and that photographers don’t necessarily need it, since Photoshop goes much deeper than any photograph would require. Additionally, I didn’t like the idea of manipulating images in a way, that you delete objects on your photo, strech out pieces of land and sky to remove unwanted things from your landscape, or even change the shape of peoples faces and bodies etc.
It turns out that all this editing has become so easy and so perfect that it becomes impossible to figure out what has been changed and that a lot of people are using it effectively and give you “perfect” landscape pictures, which is of course an illusion. While I was recently asking myself the question, whether I should finally go beyond Lightroom and do some tutorials to learn some “serious” photoshop (layers, masks, gradients, color balance, streching, burning, dodging and so forth) I rediscovered in my archive the picture that you see above.
It was taken on a beautiful sunday in the summer of 2007, long before I had the idea of building a website, creating exhibitions, reading books about photography and all that. It was the fifth image of a series that I felt like being my big “art” back in the days. The series was named “Picture in Picture”.
For this image I used two sneakers of the same model but each had a different color scheme. One was old and in bad shape while the other one was white, shiny and brand new. I took a picture of one, printed it with my cheap home printer, pasted it one cardboard and held it in front of the other so it more or less matched. There is no Photoshop in there and this image is anything but perfect. My statement was and still is, that in times where computer generated images dominate more and more the production of photographs and especially movies, it’s very charming to see what surreal pictures can be created through real craftsmanship and that an original idea is more important than a perfect execution. Many people could have done a “perfect” version of this on a computer.
My all time favourite picture in terms of “craftsmanship” in this. Philippe Halsman used neither Photoshop nor developing tricks for this image in 1948. Eventually I might upload the other pictures from that series if anyone is interested.