Newsletter 1

A week ago, Adobe released ‘Neural filters’ to photoshop.

“Neural Filters is a tool that empowers you to try non-destructive, generative filters and explore creative ideas in seconds”

Whilst I believe in the interesting and creative use of technology, and its usage in the arts, I find myself looking at their newest offerings with a sickening feeling. I’ve been aware of the spot healing tool since I first delved into photoshop many moons ago, with my imperfect adolescent skin. And while my mind has grown to accept my acne laden skin at 28 years old; and in some ways accepted the industry of retouching as a norm in the field of glamour. I can’t help but feel that my 24.99 a month subscription is fuelling the development of technology to make this process quicker and more integrated into our consciousness.

I forget that while the technology to create books has improved; vector image technology is much faster and 3D motion animations a staple of the Adobe suite; under all of this useful software companionship is a corporate structure. Beauty filters on Instagram? Yeah sure, I get that. It’s a multi billion-dollar company that feeds into insecurity. But a creative software company telling me that at 28 years old, it’s now easier than ever to remove the imperfect acne from my adult face. I feel insulted to be subscribed into their ecosystem of software that I cannot leave.

Will I always question their motives when tweaking levels in lightroom?

I don’t usually pen such writings about corporations, because we all know that cash is king. But I used to think of Adobe as innovative and ‘for the people’. But we all have a price I suppose. It all starts with the Spot healing tool, so just keep your wits about you.




I picked up some of these publications at BOP photobook festival, and I thought they were really interesting. The ‘Pigeon photographer’ is a really cool book too, but I couldn’t afford it.

In a sometimes banal photobook market, I think Rohof are doing some great work with the book form


Tattoo kids 1987-1997 - Lola Paprocka

I also picked this book up from PALM. I sort of bought it on instinct as someone interested in both tattoos and archival imagery. I’ve yet to really ‘sit down with it’ as they say, but on the surface its quite an interesting book. A personal story as much as a visual curiosity.


Sean Murgatroyd - Untitled Reduction, from What Makes a House a Home

‘5” x 7” silver gelatin print on Ilford Gloss Fibre paper, mounted to 6” x 8” board using acid free photo corners.
approx 1” x 1” image from 2 ¼” x 2 ¼” negative
signed and dated on reverse of mount’

Sean’s prints are so precise and done from a love of the craft. Seeing his process on Instagram is a refreshing way to spend some minutes on there amongst all the noise.

This reduction in particular reminds me of being free from all constraints, all learned theory and technicalities. Pure experimentation and enjoying the thrill of the process.



This song hits me deep in the gut


Thanks guys




All works copyright Tom Roche © 2022 and beyond