Per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing soft­ware

Amateur Photographer - - Your Letters -

I’d never en­tered a pho­tog­ra­phy com­pe­ti­tion till the World in Mo­tion round of APOY. My photo was ranked about 320 out of about 360. I was a bit dis­ap­pointed but can’t com­plain, as a panel of my peers judged me in a demo­cratic way. How­ever, what was very no­tice­able about the pho­tos sub­mit­ted was the ex­ten­sive use of Pho­to­shop. I have noth­ing against Pho­to­shop; it’s an amaz­ing tool. But it did sug­gest a sport­ing anal­ogy of per­for­manceen­hanc­ing drugs that have cast a long shadow over cy­cling in par­tic­u­lar. There is noth­ing il­le­gal about Pho­to­shop, but I won­der if there is a case to be made for sep­a­rate com­pe­ti­tion cat­e­gories: pho­tos us­ing Pho­to­shop and pho­tos left as they are taken? Richard Brown

As you say, Pho­to­shop is not il­le­gal or even un­eth­i­cal (un­less you’re a news or doc­u­men­tary pho­tog­ra­pher) so I be­lieve your anal­ogy with drugs in sport is a false one. Pho­tog­ra­phy has al­ways been a two-stage process even with film: the in- cam­era bit and dark­room bit (un­less you shot trans­parency film). The work that went into an Ansel Adams print was in­cred­i­ble. Per­haps there is scope for a ‘straight out of the cam­era’ photo com­pe­ti­tion – the mod­ern ver­sion of en­ter­ing slides, though even that wouldn’t be an en­tirely level play­ing field as some cam­eras are bet­ter at pro­cess­ing JPEGs than oth­ers. I’d be in­ter­ested to hear other read­ers’ thoughts – Nigel Ather­ton, Ed­i­tor

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