these are the timesdirty beloved



The whole realm of staged (to whatever extent), yet true photography, which commonly is perceived as "pictures from the real", is manipulated to some extent even without the extensive use of Photoshop: think of Justine Kurland, Taryn Simon, Jeff Wall, Gregory Crewdson, most of all view camera portraiture and so on. Even composing an image from various photographs taken in different locations is not really new – although it has become easier with digital tools. Coming back to US orthodoxy, maybe, for example, Robert Frank and Garry Winogrand were perceived as being not so manipulative. But how does that orthodoxy work with, say, Richard Avedon, or Duane Michals?

Having said this, I think this is a hollow debate. Whereas I myself prefer to work in the realm of "straight" photography – meaning not to photograph or manipulate digitally – I think it doesn't really matter if you do it or not. As long as the final image is good and not self-indulging the technical process ("how the hell is it done?"), I think the new tools just add to the possibilities of photography as a medium.
A Conversation with Kai-Olaf Hesse
Jörg Colberg/Conscientious

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