Friday, March 27, 2009

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 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 me a favor and jerk me back on track!




Simply Heather said...

Dan, I love to read the thoughts that you had in taking the photos and that you now have as seeing them once again. I also love what you do with your photos, whether in the o'natural or dressed up a little. Both ways are inviting to me. One appears as with an artists touch affecting the piece and the other with just the simple artists eyes. It's all wonderfully good to me :o)...although, it's not me that we're impressing here anyway. For the greatest gift of expressing ourselves is that feeling of sharing what you see and feel with others, don't you think?

♥ to you.

Also...if ever you wander, I will definately remind you to take a look back to where you began ;o)

boneman said...

I think that I shall never see
something so fun as photography.
It's sometimes a tease
and brings me to my knees,
but then I look up and get the bestest picture perfectly!

You're doing just fine, Dan...
in fact, today, You d'Man!
your photos abound
from places all around,
and you even talk shop to us when you can!

shabby girl said...

Your photos are so wonderful. No matter how you create them, I appreciate them. I also really enjoy your written expression of them.
I don't think anyone should jerk you anywhere. You're doing beautifully all on your own.

TheChicGeek said...

You have beautiful thoughts and beautiful images. I always enjoy my visits here.
I believe there is room in the world for both natural and artistically enhanced you say, each has its place.
Have a Wonderful Weekend!

paint1chris said...

Great thoughts, Dan. Know the rules and then to paraphrase
Bend them, shape them
Anyway you want them
You got the power to make it right

Dan Felstead said...

Good morning folks,
Thank you for all the kind words and the support of the blog. Your comments are well thought out and great points were made. Let's move forward tomorrow!