Daily Archives: May 28, 2023

9 months ago 13
Posted in: blog


Recently a new Beta Version of Lightroom was introduced that had an amazing AI based tool for changing backgrounds, it was earth shaking, what it could do.  I watched carefully as the reactions rolled in, and as you would expect they were all over the place.  “This is the most amazing and most positive thing to ever happen to photography!”  ” This is the end of photography, we will never ever again be able to trust anything we see!”  They were probably both right!


I have thought long and hard about this and I have a suggestion I would like to throw out to all my fellow photographers.  First, if you are a professing Christian, if you claim to answer to your God and wish to serve Him in everything you say and do, this advice is or you!  


Let me set this  up properly.  I started photography in 1969, yep that was a long time ago.  In that era of photography we shot film, and mostly Black & White film and slide film, transparency film.  Learning how to get correct exposure in those days was a process and it did not come easy, we struggled with it and it took time and shooting a lot of film to get it right!  We were quite proud of ourselves when we got it right!  That accounts for why so many of us in our seventies today may have more than a little chip on our shoulders about how much easier it has gotten with digital photography today.  Yes, in many way we are stuck in the mud of the film era!


As post processing has advanced and many magical things can be done to images, we have resisted and drug our feet in the sand!  Now let me share about why as a Christian, I have to look at this and approach it in a different way.  As a believer my greatest concern must be with sin and being kind to others.  First of all, even though I have resisted, replacing a sky in a photograph is not a sin!  It’ s a choice, it may not be a choice I am comfortable with, but for someone who is comfortable with it, they have not sinned!  So Let’s say my friend Paul made the image at the top of this entry, and I see it and I know he has replaced the sky, (actually I did it!),  as a Christian, how should I react too his image?  First of all I should not “react” at all, if I like the photograph I should say so, if I don’t I should not feel compelled to be unkind.  If I think he should not have replaced the sky what right do I have to be critical of him?  As the photographer and artist he has every right to process his images as he wishes, frankly it’s none of my business!  I found myself in the situation when I replaced the sky in this image  I felt guilty about it and did not show it for the longest time.



This is the original image.  I love the lighthouse and love the back lit and furrowing flag, but the sky is awful, so the image failed, I think you will admit the image with a  replaced sky is much nicer, but is it reality?  So what is wrong with adding a sky?  It is not what was actually there at that time!  Coming from my background as a photojournalist, doing something like that is a cardinal sin, but if I was a commercial photo illustrator, that kind of stuff is done all the time.  You might say that it is only wrong if the intent of the images was to depict reality.  As a Christian when is it the right thing to do, to make someone feel bad about the post processing images they make?  Never, you can express your opinion if done in a considerate way, but beyond that it’s the choice of the photographer.


let’s take the concept of appropriate ways of dealing with others as a Christian to some other examples!


Say our friend Larry is a Georgia Bulldogs fan, you’re a Alabama fan, can you say the Bulldogs suck, I hope they loose every game!  Sure, if  you want to act that way, but as a Christian what does that accomplish?  It sure doesn’t cement your witness for Christ!


Your friend Mike only listens to classical music, but you like 50’s -60’s Rock n’ Roll, he says the music you like is horrible, in fact it’s not really music at all!  It’s fine for him to feel tat way but what good does it do to make that pronouncement to you?



The photograph above was shot in the UP of Michigan on a calm morning while we were shooting fall color reflecting in the still water as boat started up toward us, my first thought was it would disturb the water, which it did, but then I realized it might be a great shot as it turned to go back out of the slough we were shooting in.  This was an unplanned circumstance that turned out to be kind of neat, and the water settled back down in a few minutes and we were able to continue shooting the reflections.  As photographers we need to roll with the punches!  Those that want  to use these new creative tools to “enhance their mages” should be left alone and allowed to do photography as they see fit, and those of us that might would rather not, should learn to be a little less judgmental about it.


Here is  my bottom line;  When I gave my life to Christ He required of me to lead others to Him,  I can’t do that if I am judging everyone else for things they may do, that I don’t want to do or agree with, how welcoming and loving is that?  I can still feel strongly about such things, I just can’t beat people up from my position.


I would love to know what you think!





the pilgrim