Digital Art vs Photo Editing

The Art Colony accepts digital art but not photography.  As much as we all love and appreciate photography, there are many fine art photography sites on the Internet for sharing that type of work.

Our goal is to promote and discuss ideas about artistic processes created by hand, and for that reason we make this distinction between digital art and digital photo editing:

Digital art = Computer-generated art that is created by hand (i.e. using a tablet, stencil etc), either from scratch (i.e. from your imagination) or from an external reference source.

Digital photo editing = running a photograph through Photoshop filters, making adjustments, adding and subtracting elements to enhance certain qualities of the photo. This includes using a photograph as a starting point or bottom layer, and using a tablet to move the pixels around on top of the image.

While digital photo editing is a creative process that can result in some beautifully artistic images, the end result is still essentially an edited photograph. Edited photographs belong on a photography site, not a fine art site like The Art Colony - just as a photograph printed onto canvas and then painted over with acrylics belongs on an art site, and not a photography site.

If you're not sure whether an image is digital art or an edited photo, ask yourself, "Would this image be the same if the photo was taken away? Or does the strength of the image lie in the photograph?"

Here are some examples that distinguish between digital art and digital photo editing:

Digital art:


Digital art:


Digital photo editing:

Digital photo editing:



Digital Photo Editing:

Before uploading your digital art, please review these definitions to determine whether your work is considered 'digital art' or 'digital photo editing'. As mentioned earlier, both are respected creative processes, but digital photo editing belongs on a photography site.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding!

Last updated by Thaneeya McArdle Feb 1, 2012.


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