Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tech Talk Tuesday

Deep Thoughts About Photography
Well.....maybe not too deep, but a few thoughts anyway.  The digital/computer age has changed the face of photography forever.  Most of us have embraced this brave, new world, but I still run into some who insist that 'real' photographers shoot film and avoid the computer like the plague.  Others have grudgingly switched to digital but insist that any type of computer manipulation is cheating.  They inspect fellow photographers' work with a fine tooth comb for any hint of special post editing, although most will hesitantly accept a crop or exposure adjustment, or of course B&W or sepia.  In the old days, even though there was dodging, burning, retouching, and other editing, it was difficult and time consuming and kept to a minimum.  Now, with the click of a mouse, not only is traditional photo editing done in seconds, but there is a whole new world of textures, actions, effects, plugins, programs, readily available to all who wish to learn and use.  Where a photograph used to pretty much start and end as a photograph, now an artist can use a photograph as a starting point, and end with a beautiful work of art that may or may not look anything like the original photograph.  And that is O.K. !!! Artists, if they wish, can now use cameras, computers and a mouse or wacom tablet in place of easels, brushes and paints.  Photography is art and is represented as the artist sees it, whether realistically, surrealistically, abstractly, impressionistically, (is that a word???), etc.  Most of us love the freedom, creativity and fun this new age of photography has brought us,  (and is there a wedding photographer alive who hasn't thanked his lucky stars on occasion when she was able to retrieve that ruined, once in a lifetime shot, with the help of Photoshop or some other computer program!)   So, when people ask me if I have 'Photoshopped' my photos, I readily say "Yes, all of them, (except those taken for photo journalistic purposes.)   Some are edited just a little, and some a lot!"  It's all a matter of preference........
            A little sharpening and exposure correction


Heavy vignette and more sharpening


Red channel B&W & several textures


And my favorite..... several textures, slight vignette, sharpen, vibrance

14 comments:

Antony said...

Hi Karen, nice work and a very good point you made there. Sorry it's took me a while to reply to your comment but have been busy.
Regarding the macro set up - I don't rely on overly expensive Macro lenses for that job but choose to go with a cool set of Kenko Extension Tubes which come in 3 different sizes and allow for a number of different combinations. The beauty of these things are that they convert ANY lens into a macro lens.
Hope this is of some help to you. Happy Snapping.

Sandra said...

all of these are wonderful, same but totally different. I agree with every word you wrote. Photoshop? why not is what i say. there is not a photo on a front of a magazine that has not been photoshopped, digital opened a wonderful world to me and I spend my retiree years playing with photography and it makes me HAPPY.

Don said...

I do like the last version the best.
I agree...everything is fair game.
Black and white is not "real", all photos are cropped (in the camera or otherwise), light makes or changes color etc. You can play by the rules and judge by the rules. Or not.

S. Etole said...

Isn't it fun to have so many options and an opportunity to try out different looks?!

A Life In Focus Photography said...

photoshop is part of the process for me and i love it. love your post. and referring to your lighting equip...i am glad for you!!! maybe one day for me but now i don't think i could stuff another thing in this 57 year old brain...course never say "never" right...wedding this weekend...NERVOUS!

Rick said...

So far I've been putting my time into learning what I can do with my DSLR. While I'm far from being the master of that technology, I've learned a lot while working on my 365 project. I have used some rudimentary tools to adjust exposure and contrast on some photos, and I'm going to set a goal of learning to use a more comprehensive tool in the next year. Not quite sure yet if it'll be Photoshop ($$), but something similar, if not.

I like what you've done with the photo in your post - very interesting effects. It might also have been interesting to see the original photo.

diane said...

So well said. I have a friend who cannot be convinced about digital photography, I must send him your post. It is so well argued. I have a Cannon 1000D with a sigma lens18-250. I am trying to learn everything it can do but when I'm in the field i forget.doh! I am looking forward to learning lots from your blog. Your shots are magic.

joey said...

My favorite also, Karen. Well said! Wonder if I will ever go back to film ... although slow to change, digital is more fun and far less expensive!

Antony said...

Recently I've been tempted to go back to film with thoughts of buying a Lomo Fisheye Camera just for the fun of it. Has anyone else had any pleasurable experiences with this type of camera?

Scott said...

Karen,
Perfectly worded to my feelings. I Photoshop every photo I post to one degree or another. Occasionally I'll say something about the shot being SOOC (Straight Out of Camera) but I have cropped and framed even those. That also just means that if I haven't said it's SOOC it's been Photoshopped to at least add a little depth and maybe some clarity and vibrancy.

I love what you've done with these. You are my secret mentor, but I guess it's not a secret any more. ;-)

Stacey Dawn said...

ooooh - that last one - fab-u-lus!

Karen said...

Scott, thank you for that LOVELY compliment. You have made my day!!! The truth is, though, that I stumble along, trying to learn as much as I can through photography blogs, internet sites, seminars, etc., and out of the thousands of photos I've taken over the years, once in a while it all comes together.... and those few are the ones I post!!! I wish I could be satisfied to concentrate on one subject, or type of photography, so I could become proficient, but I have a short attention span and love variety in what I enjoy photographing. In the end, I do what makes me happy!

Karen said...

Antony, thank you for the information. Your macros are amazing!

Dave said...

Nice range of techniques. Nearly all my photo's have been through some post processing even if its only Adobe Lightroom to check the cropping and perhaps the light shadow balance as I shoot in RAW it gives a huge scope for post production 'tweaks'. Thanks for the informative post.