I need a better answer.
I often get asked by non-photographer friends if I photoshop my images. I should have a good answer after all the practise. My problem is I usually have no idea what people are really asking or if they even know.
My current 12-minute, mind-numbing answer includes mentions of RAW vs JPEG, camera and computer software, art and philosophy. The glazed look at the end means I lost them somewhere near the beginning. I need a lot more pithy!
Here’s where you can help. I have provided a number of alternate answers and I would really appreciate if you would tell me what works and what leaves you cold. So here goes …
Did you photoshop that picture?
1. “No.” This trick answer to a tricky question would be lawyer-approved. I don’t own PhotoShop software so it’s technically correct, avoids the whole issue and doesn’t come close to answering the question.
2. “I try to make my photos look as good as I can but still be realistic.” This answer sounds reasonable but completely avoids the issue of whether the photo looks realistic for the scene that I saw.
3. “Every photographer and every camera will “see” the same scene in a different way.” True enough but that may come off as a bit defensive and is that really what we are talking about?
4. “I didn’t make any major changes to the scene like adding a moon or a lake.” That sounds high minded but the photo doesn’t actually include a lake or moon. It also slides by the issue of the busy freeway that was cropped out of the “wild” scene.
5. “I made minor changes.” Brevity is the soul of wit. So who cares if minor is such a relative term it could cover just about anything? Pure avoidance.
6. “I tried to make the photo appear like the scene I saw.” This answer starts to enter the realm of art which is potentially a new concept for my questioner. It may just be esoteric enough to stop further questions. It also leaves out any mention of medication.
7. “I’m not a documentary shooter so this image is art that conveys what I felt at the time I was there.” A full commitment to art. This may confirm the questioner’s worst fears by leaving the impression the photo has nothing to do with reality (whatever that is).
Do you understand my dilemma? So what should I say?