pop511 wrote:What a great discussion post this has been.
" The downside may be that because we can, we do, perhaps too often, and perhaps dishonestly."
[...] Standing back from this and looking at photography as our chosen career or hobby. Can we say to ourselves? Aren't we all dishonest?
I have read a little on Ansel Adams ( spelling? ). From what I understand, he spent hours in the dark room working on his negatives. Can we describe his work as dishonest because that was not the scene, in shades of gray, as captured by the lens? So if not a photographer. Was he an artist?
We all use curves and sharpening. Is that any different from Ansel? We adjust for our own tastes and preconceived ideas for what the finished picture should look like.
To put grain into a digital b&w picture and then someone to classify it as having no place in the 21st century is beyond comprehension.
We all go down our own road and do our own thing. Is that so bad? Posting on here I benefit from your critiques and studying your photos.
I know some moderators on this site don't comment on pictures that they dislike. That's ok, but aren't you doing a disservice to your membership. Perhaps discuss the technical aspects and others can learn from it.
On the opposite side. I would knock down your door to get a week working with you all...
Who has not been touched by others work..
Are we all artists? but don't know it!! ['...]
Ed, you've touched on a question so interesting it ought to have its own thread! (And THANK you!)
You spelled Saint Ansel's name correctly (!!) and absolutely, he was a Master in the darkroom. So was his work "dishonest?" I don't think so, not a bit. Was he an Artist? I think he was. A Photographic Artist, Fine Art Photography (as distinct from, say, photojournalism or passports). Ernst knows all about Fine Art Photography because it's what he does (it's who he IS). Indeed, AA manipulated the heck out of every negative he made, but how (I ask) is that different from, say, an Albert Bierstadt painting of similar subjects?
We all use curves and sharpening. Is that any different from Ansel? We adjust for our own tastes and preconceived ideas for what the finished picture should look like. To put grain into a digital b&w picture and then someone to classify it as having no place in the 21st century is beyond comprehension. We all go down our own road and do our own thing.
In the early days of photography "real" artists were pretty unforgiving of the new kid on the block. They were fearful that photography would entirely replace "real" art, and to some extent it has, at least for the masses. I freely admit that I am a photographer because I can neither draw nor paint but I have a creative bent. Every new thing that comes along tends to displace something else. I think each of us is
an artist in his or her own way. I have never tried to characterize myself as an artist. I think that relative to a painter I am a house
painter, a craftsman rather than a creator, but as a craftsman I pride myself on always getting the picture, so there's that.
I tell ya, for me the digital revolution has been a godsend. I got into a pretty deep funk and refused to touch a camera for a long time, but digital reawakened the "artist" in me. I was also a up-to-my-elbows wet-darkroom guy, not on Ansel Adams's scale, but I was better than good. I think about that all the time now that I have LIGHTroom instead and, together with Photoshop, I can do things we could only dream about 40 years ago, and if I can't do it, I can look up a tutorial on YouTube and then I can do it. It's nothing short of a miracle.
The reason I made my initial statement about the potential for dishonesty is because, ever since Photoshop, it has become routine to do things that used to be pretty much impossible. All the time we see suggestions about something in a picture that is a "distraction" that we could remove. Any more it is so ridiculously easy to "clone it out" that we sometime get twitted for not just doing it. "That lamp post should come out of there." "Why did you leave that fire plug there?" "That other figure on the right is distracting; consider cloning him out." I know that at least one photographer stringing for the Associated Press was fired and banned because he cloned out a distraction, a very, very minor thing in the foreground, and when the AP found out they canned him because he had broken one of the first rules of photojournalism: the only things you can do are minor adjustments to tone and contrast, and crop. In this case a crop was impossible. It cost him his career!
But we are not photojournalists. We are not going to get fired for cloning something out, or in (I have cloned in birds, rather a lot actually). If I am a painter painting a seascape and I need a seagull --right --there... I'm gonna paint in a seagull! Therefore I personally see nothing dishonest about adding a seagull or two to a seascape to balance a composition and add interest. If I painted it I would, so why not in a photo if I can?
I better siddown and shuddup. I've gone on too long.