How much is too much?

Watching this video makes me giddy with excitement. Think of all that editing power at your fingertips! It’s magic I tell you, magic!

Although, while I’m in awe of its shining glory, this video has created confusion in my mind.

While the main part of me goes, “Woooow! So cooooool!!!” a little part of me says, “Yea, cool… but it’s cheating.” Why is this? The outcome is the same. Whether you spend hours doing it by hand or spend a few seconds with this tool, both ways result in edited images.

I’ve always prided myself on accepting digital enhancements as part of digital photography, yet that little part of me¬†looks at this video and thinks, “But where has the art gone? What’s so impressive about clicking a button?

It’s like Facebook (okay, it’s nothing like Facebook, but bear with me); I used to be the one who remembered all my friends’ birthdays. I still do. If asked, I could rattle off a list of about 20 of them without thinking about it. It was impressive and meant something to my friends when they received my birthday wishes on their day. Then Facebook came along and started listing everyone’s birthdays. Now I still remember them all, but it means less because people assume I merely saw it on Facebook like everyone else.

Maybe, like with birthdays, this is just my ego throwing a temper-tantrum and not liking the idea that, after years of fine-tuning my skills, a tool is going to come out that will mean that anyone can do it in moments, and no one will know how amazing my powers of Photoshop are. Maybe I want it to stay difficult so that only an elite group of people have the know-how to manage.

Okay, fine. I’ll stop being a snob, and I’ll rejoice in the creation of an incredible new tool. A tool that will save professionals, and myself, many hours of work, and yes, will bring the art of photo-editing closer to anyone of any skill level.

What’s your take on this? Art or cheating?

P.S. The “rule of thirds” grid in the crop tool, how cool is that? A nice little touch there.