I was reading “Henri Cartier-Bresson The Modern Century” yesterday and I came across the relatively well known photograph of a woman standing in front of an advertisement, I looked for the freckles that were on her neck and I realized that they weren’t there. I was shocked because I swore that this was a part of the image and I immediately went to grab the other book that I own that has this photo, “Looking At Photographs” Both books were published by the MOMA of New York.
How do you feel about this? I remember when I attended Street Foto SF during my workshop with Vinheet Vohra the topic of Photoshoping street photos came up and it seemed to me that everyone was in agreement that it felt like cheating. Part of the fun of street photography relies on its adherence to the fact of what was going on in front of you. I’ve always felt as though the heavy editing that you see in fashion magazines is rather unethical but that’s just my opinion. That being said this is a relatively minor clone stamp but I always enjoyed seeing the freckles on her neck because if you look closely they almost resemble the wave pattern that’s on the wall. I wonder if this kind of editing would have been allowed if the book was published while Cartier-Bresson was alive. He was first and foremost an artist and didn’t give much of a damn about journalism this kind of thing can get journalists black listed.
I was originally looking for an image on what I believe to be the Irag war (maybe it was an different war, I remember the photo was taken in a desert) where a soldier is seen running and the journalist clone stamps a bush out of the background but I couldn’t remember the person/place/photo so these were the best examples I could find. This one photograph got the guy black listed and couldn’t find work.
Do any of you Photoshop your street photographs? I did it once around the time when I first started and even ended up selling a print of the photo, looking back now I don’t really enjoy the image and I don’t enjoy the fact that I used Photoshop on it. I enjoy seeing a street photograph and feeling as though you’re seeing something that’s “true”.