Taking a deep dive……..
In the last few monhs I’ve been wrestling with some new issues, no, not health, but photographic! As most of you know, I teach with Jack Graham and we have been having a number of pretty deep discussions on where photography is going, and where it started, at least for us. Very recently Skylum announced their new Luminar 4 which will include, among many new features, including a sky replacement, AI feature. The bottom line is it will allow you to replace boring skies with any number of impressive skies from a library of choices.
I’m pretty sure I won’t be taking advantage of that feature, but let me explain why. First let me say that compositing an image is a legitimate art form, and I highly admire the work of many folks that are masters at combining elements from different images to create a new one. My problem is that it is still called “photography” and I think, personally, it should be called “Photography Art”, not just a Photograph. To me, a photograph should be something that is essentially a subject or scene that is captured as it was. When we shoot an image and we quote, “clean it up” meaning remove a telephone pole, or darken a bright area, is that considered manipulation? I don’t know and I’m not sure who can set that standard! I, like many of you, will take those steps without feeling too guilty. I’m honestly not sure where I think the line should be drawn. Let me provide and example of what a photograph is to me.
This incredible image from my dear friend, Jack Graham is what I consider a “magical moment” captured at the perfect time, in great light, of a wonderful subject. It didn’t need any extra special processing to make it more affective. My point is that, for me, photography is all about those magic moments that we are privileged to be there, when they happen, to have even a chance of capturing them with our cameras.
Here is another example;
This stunning image from Guy Tal is, for me, a beautiful example of a photograph. A magical moment, in perfect conditions that the photographer had to find, and then carefuly compose to produce a beautiful work of art. You could go to this spot in all four seasons and maybe never see these specific conditions and even then you would have to masterfully compose the image, as Guy did, to make it work like this Photograph!
So what is my point? I’ve spent a lifetime going to beautful places in the hope that the light would be great, the conditions would be wonderful and then that I would not mess it up and be able to craft a wonderul image. The joy I feel when I’m fortunate enough to have all those things come together and then I was able to make the shot, is the pleasure I get out of photography. It doesn’t happen every time or most times, but that is the magic, and when it does happen, it’s special!!!!
I used to wear an wrist band that had the initials WWJD, and it stood as a reminder of the question I needed to ask myself when I was faced with a question of a behavior or an action, What Would Jessu Do? I’m going ot get another one and when asked what it means I will answer; If it is regarding morals or character it means, What Would Jesus Do?, if it refers to photography I will say “What would Jack do?” Since Jack Graham and I are seemingly on the same page about photographs, that is a good enough standard for me!
I hold to this standard, “Do what you want, and always be honest about what you did, then let others decide how they feel about it!”
Photograph what interests you, and then enjoy what you shoot!
This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 at 7:37 pm
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