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Why photographic purism makes no sense in the digital age

Some photographers subscribe to a philosophy of modern photographic purism, frowning upon any use of post-processing techniques and seeing them as a form of cheating. This idea was popularised popularised in the 1930s but few photographers today subscribe to the movement’s ideals of ridding one’s work of “qualities of technique, composition or idea, derivative of any other art form”. Today’s photographic purists have no such ambitions; conversely, they often strive to create highly artistic photographs using only their camera (and physical accessories such as lights and filters) and they extent to which they consider themselves successful correlates directly to the extent to which their results appear to have been created through post-processing when in reality they have been achieved in camera. There are many legitimate reasons not to post-process your digital photographs but the popular notion that all forms of post-processing are somehow inauthentic is deeply misguided.

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