In camera photos or post shoot editing? The question for some under water photographers at themoment is: should the photos be submitted straight out of the camera or is postediting going with modern times. Alex Mustard started this discussion onwetpixel.com with lots of comments for both sides. Before the digital age there was (especially with slides)not much choice. The photo had to be shot good or that was it. I was happy with2 good shots per roll. However when it came to black and white photography,photo shopping and retouching were not that different. Already in thedeveloping stage you could influence the outcome. After that the negativescould be retouched with a fine brush and ink (not unlike spot healing nowadays).Then came the lighting and by moving the projector you could crop. Overexposedparts could be less exposed than darker bits. You could influence the endresult once more in the developing bath by rubbing the paper. So what’s thisfuss with post editing on a computer? Maybe it’s just fear of a computer. I think photography, if it’s on land or under water, is aform of art. Firstly the end result should be what you like and secondly whatpleases other people. I studied art and part of it was art history. Let’s takeRembrandt. He had helpers that made his paint with pigments and medium. At theend of the 19th century tubes of paint came out. The quality was notas good but it saved money and time. A discussion like the one above started tocome up. Nowadays hardly any one makes his own paint anymore, they went withthe times. What is photography all about? Is it about showing off your technical skillsor showing a great photo? More of a concern is how the photos are taken. As a diveguide I see a lot of photographers with a lack of respect for the environment,destroying marine life around them with their only concern for getting theirwinning photo. And I am not talking about novice photographers, but some bigname professional photographers with shocking disregard for the environment andbuoyancy. The same with dive guides assisting in creating photographicopportunities. In over 6000 dives I’ve only once seen a Spanish dancer dancing.I find it hard to believe that so many photographers are ‘lucky’ enough to seethese amazing creatures dance. In Indonesia,some dive guides are so used to diving with photographers that theyautomatically start to create photographic opportunities by moving crabs andnudi’s in position, something not really very environmentally sound. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are lots ofenvironmentally responsible photographers, its just a pity that that is not thefirst concern for everyone with a camera. To conclude: Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to diveall year round. If a photographer canonly dive for two weeks a year, they don’t have much time to get everythingright. Maybe their technique isbrilliant, but they are hampered by bad visibility with lots of particles inthe water. If they can them improvetheir photos by editing with a program like Photoshop, why not? I think everyone strives for the perfectshots but you can’t always control the environment you are diving in. So; go with the times. The cameras getsmarter too! And Photoshop is a nice program to be really creative and create yourown fantasies in times of boredom. To get the real thing all the time and everytime we don’t live long enough (and most of us don’t have enough money for thateither!). So, if you want to be aphotography purist, great for you. Butdon’t begrudge other people the opportunity to get a great photo once in awhile! Happy Bubbles and please be careful down there.