Did you process this picture?

Here I go again. There’s this continuing myth that, back in the day, real photographers took a picture and that was that. None of this post processing stuff that the wimps of today do using Photoshop. Well, notice the word ‘myth’ in the previous sentence.

George Lepp, writing in Outdoor Photographer, addresses this issue in response to a letter from a reader. Lepp says, “Aah, the myth of the simple, good old days of photography, where photographers were judged on their skills behind the viewfinder. Well, not really. It was the print that was judged, not the negative.” BTW, Lepp has several reasons why you want/need to process pictures from a digital camera. Check out his response at the link above.

Lepp goes on to give a concrete example – some guy named Ansel Adams. I’m sure you’ve seen “Moonrise, Near Hernandez, New Mexico” by Adams. I’d read somewhere that if you saw the negative of that shot – what came out of the camera – you wouldn’t recognize it. Lepp indicated it was easy to find a contact print image on the internet so I looked it up. It’s not true that you won’t recognize the shot – you’ll just think it was a discard from one of several shots Adams took. Not so, he only took one frame. So go to this link to see both a final version and the contact print. Scroll down to see the different versions.

I think it is safe to say there was quite a bit of post processing done on the picture.