Photoshop and breast implants have a lot in common.

Typically, a woman goes through surgery to have their breasts augmented for a reason. This reason may come from a place that is perceived as negative to those not socially accepting of these kind of things – an accusation of insecurity perhaps.

To the woman, they’re great. They solve a problem. That problem might be a lack of something – A lack of attention, maybe a lack of self-esteem, a lack of confidence. But that solution may just as equally be an enhancement in a positive light. To make the body she loves even better. Taking something good, and turning it into something great.

In reality, regardless of her decision and her reason for putting her body and mind through that process, she owns the right to do whatever she wants.

It’s how she wants to represent herself. It’s how she thinks she should look. It’s her body.

And your judgement on her decision, regardless of the rationale – it doesn’t matter.

No filter

The same is equally true when I get annoyed at people after they take a photo and say “Look! I didn’t even use a filter!” Like as if the picture they’ve taken is ‘pure’ and therefore makes it ‘better’.

In reality, it doesn’t matter if they don’t understand that every camera takes the same photo differently (due to the differences in image processing, quality, lenses, etc) or that using ‘filters’ still very much means that they’re editing a photo, or that I think not editing a photo is missing an opportunity to turn something good into something great. It really doesn’t matter. They’re happy with that image. It’s their image.

In reality, my opinion doesn’t mean shit.

When you take an image, you have a right as an artist to portray whatever story you want. The artists that rise to the top tell the best stories through their work. Every single photographer who uses any software to edit their photo – Lightroom, Snapseed, Capture One, desktop, mobile or tablet is changing the image to tell a better story (subconsciously or not) – Really, there’s no such thing as a ‘pure’ image. Every camera renders an image in a different way, regardless of how it is taken.

Even if I was to mentally project my ‘image’ from my brain into yours, my past experiences and genetics cause me to see things differently to how you would.

Honesty

And so, there is no such thing as ‘honest’ photography. Or at least in my opinion, there is no debate of honesty in photography, as the end result of the image you’re looking at from someone is the most honest version of the intention of that image the person has created.

Adding and removing things in Photoshop is no exception.

If you feel that removing a pimple from the face of a portrait model removes the distraction from their gaze, do it. If you feel that removing a person in the background increases the subjects’ presence in the foreground and tells a better story, remove them.

If you feel that adding a plane into a scene of dramatic clouds tells a better story of their turbulence, add it. If you feel that putting some stars in as a final touch makes the image feel more dreamy, then do it.

It’s your artistic license. It’s your intent. It’s your image.

Happy Friday friends! Let's celebrate by admiring this amazing capture from #SonyAlpha user @pat_kay “While everyone was busy shooting supermoon in its full glory, I couldn’t help but notice the brightness of its shine.” #whatsyourperpective Camera specs: | Sony A7II + 55mm f1.8 | ISO100 | f1.8 | 1/10 ss |

A post shared by Sony | Alpha (@sonyalpha) on

I often get slayed for this image of the Sydney Opera House (just check the comments if you want some lols). In this image, I felt that adding reflections and stars told a better story of the ambience and majesty during the super moon that night. Many people reacted with hate, spitting comments of deception and vanity. But in reality, their comments don’t matter. I made those decisions for my own reasons. For me, they tell a better story and I don’t care if people feel deceived – it wasn’t my intention (but even if it was, I still wouldn’t care because that would be my intention). If you like the end result, then appreciate it for what it is and what it makes you feel, and know that the person making that decision was happy doing it.

That’s all there is to it. Honesty is what you’re looking at.