On my most recent posting...the image of Salt Lake City, one of the followers of the blog (Boneman) brought up a very important point when looking at different photographic styles and I thought I would spend just a moment and provide some perspective as to where I sit on the continuum between unaltered images to manipulated images.
There are two very strong schools of thought on this subject and both very valid. The decision to move into one or the other really is decided by the goal you have for your images. The one school of thought is that a photograph should not be altered in any way and if it is - it detracts from the original subject matter and is deceptive. This is a very important core value of the photojournalist or news photographer. After all, if news images are manipulated, how does one know the truth about the event being chronicled? The second school of thought follows the artistic, interpretive school where the final image should reflect the interpretation of the person behind the camera. These images are much more subjective often changed or enhanced in some way or the other. Their goal is the creation of the final product, possibly to be displayed or hung as art.
Whether one follows the journalistic school or the interpretive, creative school of thought, there remains certain steadfast rules that apply to both. The base image must reflect relevant, interesting subject matter, the rules of basic composition (rule of thirds) should be followed...unless they are discarded for a particular effect, depth of field should match the subject matter...strong depth of field for landscapes, shallow depth of field for portraits for example, clearly focused etc. etc...
In the past I have had particular assignments due to the goal of the work where I had to insure the integrity of the original photo ...photo shots for local newspaper human interest stories for example. My passion however has always been towards the interpretive, more artistic side of photography. When I photograph for my personal enjoyment, I have a goal in my minds eye when shooting the image and I then may process certain parts of the image in the darkroom or nowadays in the digital darkroom to match the interpretation of my mind's eye. This may include changing the depth of field, cropping, enhancing a sunset or sunrise, mixing a black and white version of the image with a color version, or selective focus to draw one's attention to the subject of the image. The base photo as mentioned above should be a solid image to begin with and then I may tweak it to arrive at the final goal. My goal is to produce an image that is suitable for display or discussion. Through your insightful comments over the last 6 months, I have learned that we all have a need to reflect on an image now and then and take a break from the rat races in our daily lives.
For example, my blog let's me explore both of my passions...writing and photography. I love to have the chance to express my thoughts of what was going on at the time the photo was taken or to reflect what a particular image meant to me at the time and have the photo reflect those feelings. But most rewarding to me are your comments and interpretations...many times more insightful than mine.
My blog has been up for about 6 months now and I enjoy posting as much as I did the first day. I remain very appreciative of the visitors and followers of the blog and hope to continue our discussions and images for quite a while to come. Thank you so much for your comments and discussions of the daily posts. If I ever stray off track from what the blog has developed into...do me a favor and jerk me back on track!
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