Can you imagine a world where Photoshop doesn’t exist? A world where we can take every picture at face value and believe that there was no airbrushing, no retouching, no nothing? I can’t. Photoshop has made it impossible for me to not question what I’m seeing and at the same twisted time has also redefined my image of what things are supposed to look like.
PBS’ excellent Off Book series takes a look at how Photoshop is remixing the world:
Photoshop has completely revolutionised our visual culture. Artists now use Photoshop to create complex imagery that would have been impossible 20 years ago. It has also profoundly changed the art of photo retouching, turning a labour intensive process into an artful and often controversial digital workflow. But possibly the most current and expressive influence can be seen in meme culture online. With the ability to alter any image in the media landscape, everyday people now have the means to critically comment on culture and spread their ideas virally, levelling the playing field between traditional media creators and consumers. Photoshop has changed the way we communicate, the way we express ourselves, and the way we view the world and each other.
It’s true that though Photoshop has changed what we see, as a tool it has served as an equaliser on what anyone can do (to a degree, at least). [PBS Off Book]