Friday, July 26, 2013


The Setting Sun Over Manila, July 2013

I know that what I am about to assert is contrary to what many folks (photographers) think are proper photographic practices. My vision includes elements of interpretation. I believe that I as an artist have the right and obligation to interpret any image as I see fit.

Take the above image: It is a variant on what the camera recorded. It is close, but the intensity and color saturation is somewhat altered. Overall, this image depicts what was, to human eyes, a realistic version of Wednesday's sunset.

The Setting Sun Over Manila, July 2013

This image is close to being what the camera saw. It differs from what my eyes saw because of the intensity of the sunlight. I could not look directly at the sun and see much of anything else.

The Setting Sun Over Manila, July 2013

This image is created from the preceding photo. It was actually an attempt at a three-image HDR composite. Somehow Photoshop had problems tone mapping the three, and spat out this (albeit in a milder form). At first I was disappointed, but I soon started playing with it, and came up with this. I can claim that I used my newly created "how a fish out of water sees color filter".

So, am I as an artist entitled to create either by serendipity or design, a variant that depicts a possible foray into the unknown? I think the answer is obviously yes. But, am I as a photographer entitled to do so?

I think the conventional thought is that photography is not true art. It is a sub field of the general category of art. I think that photographers created this thinking. It is my observation that some serious photographers dwell on the journalistic values of the medium. The thinking is that a good photograph is a realistic rendering of the subject. This creates a generalization that photography is of value in recording events accurately, but that it is not useful as a creative outlet.

I think that because photography is everywhere all the time, and that practicably everyone considers themselves to be photographers, that the medium is not taken seriously. I think that this is especially true and applied to those artists that utilize post-production techniques such as Photoshop. I am concerned that occasionally some really innovative and cutting edge imagery will go unappreciated because of the stigma of the medium.

That said, I know that there is a lot of crap out there, but who am I to judge?