The photograph itself doesn't interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.

~Henri Cartier Bresson

Monday, April 5, 2010

I digress..yet again...

Recently I have been sitting back and taking stock of what’s happening in photography, locally and elsewhere. I enjoy frequenting a local eatery, 2-3 times a week, which has revolving art displays to enjoy. As of a few weeks ago they have had prints of photographs hanging done by a local shooter. Images of mostly coastal Maine. Composition wise..nice, other wise…personally, yikes talk about Photoshop-Overdose. Today it has become so evident when someone spends way too much time ‘tweaking’ an image. I know, I know, its another photographic “advancement” but crikeys mates, tone it down a bit! I have stood hours in darkrooms over the past 45 years dodging and burning scenes before sliding them into Dektol to bring them to life but its just too damn obvious when an image has been overdone analog or digital wise. Whenever I have done manipulation to a image, analog or digital, I make a disclosure of what was done and to what extent and if possible why. There is no way in hell some of today’s work could be taken as ‘wow that must have been a beautiful day’ shots, but I digress. My question to up and coming photographers is, like other artistic venues, why don’t they study the successful masters of the art and learn from these greats? Some of the great abstract painters have a grounding knowledge and ability of creating realist artwork. Why not learn what the camera is achieving when you diddle with that knob or dial? We have become overall a society of “I want it all and all of it now!”, we have no patience with true creative processing. We want our paints to dry so we can screw with them and hide them. We don’t wait for the beauty of oils to come thru in the drying and curing process like the masters did, we dig out the hair dryer and hit the warp speed button to bake the acrylics to a crispy crunch sheen. Hence the photoshop addiction. Just how many digital-diddlers can explain how depth of field is determined and then obtained? How do you calculate a new f-stop when shutter speeds have to be changed…with ASA 400 film? I admit, I shoot some digital and understand the draw, BUT…….aw heck I digress……yet again….

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