Before and After Photoshop, Whats the difference?

My experience at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was quite intriguing. I have never really stood in front of photography and analyzed it deeply. This time I did. Looking at both exhibits, it was crazy what difference photoshop can make to photography especially two of the same pictures. Both exhibits dealt with the altering of photography making it different in color, depth, detail, basically the whole picture. As I read about the first exhibit, “Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop” this quote really stood out to me- “the urge to modify camera images is as old as photography itself. Only the methods have changed.” This means that photographs have always been able to alter itself however as time progresses photographers, artists, have come up with new and improved ways to captivate a picture and make it so realistic and crystal clear to really portray a “visual truth.” In this exhibit, there was one picture in particular that captured my eye, it was a before and after picture of Elvis Presley: “Elvis Presley before and after Retouching to Stimulate G.I. Haircut 1956-57”. Two sides of him- one side was him with his original Presley look and the other side was him with his hair shaved off to look more like the Elvis Presley going to the army. The artist retouched Presley by using airbrush to have him have a G.I. haircut because during that time of the late 1950’s Presley was drafted for military service. It was amazing to see this before and after picture how this artist changed Elvis Presley’s appearance by using photoshop.

In the other exhibit, “After photoshop: Manipulated Photography in a Digital Age” the whole idea of this exhibit was very relevant to photography nowadays. If you think about it, all photography is made somehow or altered digitally. We can’t help it, from our cellphone screens to our computer desktops one without any kind of photography experience can digitally edit a photograph amazingly. When in this exhibit, I could not stop thinking about Instagram. Instagram is a program where you can take pictures and digitally photoshop it as if it was taken professionally. With the right software and tools anyone can photoshop a photograph in this digital age. Some might disagree with this newfound digital age technique, but we can’t help it. We are always looking for processes that are “quicker, easier, and more accessible to many people both amateurs and professionals.” Specifically the picture/video by Maria Marshall stood out to me the most. It was called, “When I grow up I want to be a Cooker.” The whole idea of this piece was about a mothers maternal fear and the impact of Western culture to childhood. She used her son acting like he was puffing on a cigarette to show how a child could be influenced to do wrong things at such a young age. Whether in a household or at school, children can be effected mentally and physically by drugs or alcohol. I liked this digital piece the most because I thought it was the most interesting and relevant to society today. The way she edited the picture using digital background to make it seem that her little boy was actually smoking a cigarette was mind blowing to me. It also relates to addiction. Using digital photoshop, she was able to do this and make it seem so real. Personally, I think photoshop is a great thing and reinvents photography usage.

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