Photoshop is an effective tool that can completely change a scene, prompting the arguments that nothing is real in photography anymore (a topic I am keen to go deeper into at a later time!)
However, as I am going to be talking about today, Photoshop isn’t always all about changing the truth of an image.
In this image of my daughter, I felt it was very nearly perfect.
Her natural “I’m not posing” pose, the lighting was great, and I loved the depth of field which helped separate her from the background so well.
So, what needed changing?
For me, it was simply just her t-shirt you can see poking out from underneath her jumper. It was just too bright and I found my eyes naturally drawn to it.
This is where Photoshop comes in. Adding a new blank layer with the right blending mode enabled me to paint over the blue in her t-shirt into a more neutral colour.
Does this technique make this image a lie? For this particular image, the answer is a resounding ‘no’. I didn’t add anything that wasn’t originally there and I didn’t take anything important away.
That’s not to say that this will always be the case – you can change the colour of anything you can imagine. Changing the colour of a focal part of the image, like maybe a car, would probably be distorting the truth.
There is no definitive answer to my question, and my answer might even be different to yours. Changing her t-shirt colour the way I did might remove the element of truth for you, while I think it keeps the truth in tact while removing the more distracting features.