Isn't Lightroom Cheating?

No... Well, that was a quick blog. But I guess that I cant leave it there. I should at least try to explain my thinking.
Lightroom is the darkroom of its day, and no one has ever questioned the use of the darkroom, so why do some photographers question the overuse of Lightroom and other software applications.

Go back in recent and not so recent history, when film was the only way of capturing an image, and you would have seen photographers beavering away for hours in the darkroom, experimenting with developing techniques, dodging and burning and cropping where they could. True, we can get a lot more out of Lightroom than they could from hiding themselves away in a cupboard, but in truth, the principle is just the same. Its the same with most aspects of our life. Back in the sixties, traveling from Swansea to Cardiff was an adventure, one that needed to be planned. Now, for some, its a daily commute to work.

Lightroom is available to us, so why shouldn't we use it. The cream will still rise to the top. Could the people that dismiss its use simply be hiding the fact that they cant be bothered to master its uses? 

While its true that much information can be rescued from a RAW file, the best photographers will have most of the image captured correctly in camera. You cant make a silk purse out of a pig's ear.

Look at some of the better photographers on YouTube and watch them take an image and then process on screen. They actually do very little in Lightroom. Sure, some use presets, but presets are only there to assist in a workflow. I guess you could argue that people can buy presets. That's true, but I maintain that with the best will in the world they won't get the same results as the author. But they may start to learn the process, and if that encourages them to learn the art of photography, I'm fully for it.

I can hear the argument that some photographers take an image and turn it into something completely different. Taking away and adding other features. True, but if that is their art, who are we to judge. And that is the point. Photography to me is an art, and how the image is achieved is almost irrelevant. Or if not irrelevant, something we shouldn't contradict. If the artist has decided to present his or her work that way we should accept that. We can still decide for ourselves whether we like it or not.

I love the paintings of John Constable. I also love the art of Nick Holly. Totally different eras and totally different styles, but I find them both pleasing. I look at a cow in formaldehyde, and for the life of me, I can't see it as art. As embalming, yes, but art, no. But there are thousands that would disagree.  In photography, I enjoy the art of Thomas Heaton but also enjoy the quirky (to my mind) nature of the photographs produced by James Popsys.

This has turned into a sort of rant. That wasn't my intention. I know that I almost contradict myself as the post evolves and I know that there will be those that agree with me and those that don't. But I don't care. I see photography as an art, art is in the eye of the beholder, and to me, Lightroom (or any of the other software options available) is simply a tool. 

For me, Lightroom is where I take a flat RAW file and bring it to life. Trying to reproduce what I saw or what I felt when standing at the location and pressing the shutter.

google-site-verification: google9e2a35566743b17f.html