Saturday, August 2, 2008

Creating Style: The Photograph Rebellion

Stumble It!

A rebellion is happening in the photographic world, from magazines to publishers, to contests, and the photographers themselves. The battleground lines are drawn. People are ready to draw blood to defend what they consider photography is.

(The photo at the left is mine, best seen if you click the photo to enlarge.)

The problem is Adobe Photoshop and the endless possibilities of its various filters - not even to mention some of the other great photo editing programs, like Photo Impact Pro. These programs present an incredible amount of enhancement tweaks, way beyond what many purists would find acceptable.

And even those who are the purists delve into to these programs to make their photographs pop.

But the war against this creative drive is great. Many are driven by the old world of film photography, hanging on to the past, even though creative magic did indeed happen in some of those darkrooms.

Ansel Adams said, "Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships."

Even great photographers like Ansel Adams did photographic enhancements, but mostly he was quiet about it.

Just look at magazine guidelines and contest guidelines. Many say they will reject stylized creative photography. Or at least that is what they say, but sometimes they are just too wowed to turn down a great piece of digital art. The battlefield has unclear lines.

There is a case for just excellent photography with a minimum of photographic adjustments. Sometimes there is nothing more perfect than a well executed image. In this imperfect world, I believe there is room for both. Sometimes I go from one side of the battlefield to the other, and learn from the skills of the soldier photographers on both sides of the front.

Amazing Photographs to learn from the artistic approach:
Grand Canyon
Kris Kros Gallery
Dave Hill Photography

Amazing Photographic purists:
The Magic of Nature by Rainey
J Webzone wildlife photography
Mark J Thomas Natural Selection

Then there is this great photographic artist:
"Vincent Versace is a Renaissance man who has produced the best how-to book of the year! With its subtitle of “A Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop” Below is his book:


Me said...

Personally, I think as long as you are true to your style, why fuss about. Yes certain forms such as journalism should automatically refuse certain levels of tampering but if you are out to create art, do it in the way that works for you. Just do a good job at it.

Robert Miller said...

Thanks for the comment and I could not agree with you more. I agree that photo journalism should be fair representation, and often it is not.

My thoughts though, were on many of the contests and magazines that have strict submission standards that limit creative post processing.

Thanks again, for the comment