You may have noticed my signature on the photo above. When I edit, manipulate, or other wise transform a photo beyond a self-imposed limit, I consider it “art” and sign it.
Since the inception of photography, photos have been retouched, dodged, burned and cropped. Indeed, much of the creative process was accomplished in the darkroom. Master photographers were proud of their printing skills.
Then came Kodachrome and slides. Everything changed. When you clicked the shutter the photo was finished, there was no cropping, no correcting the exposure. You either got it all right, or there was nothing worth showing. Not only did you have to get the composition and exposure right, the cost was such that shooting a whole role of 36 photos was a luxury. I have said it before: Kodachrome was a stern taskmaster – you learned your craft or else!
Digital photography brought another revolution, even more so in recent years as the cameras have became increasingly powerful and sophisticated. We are almost at the point where the camera points itself – indeed some already record images before you press the shutter release. If the exposure is not right on, post-processing can take care of it. If the composition is off, just crop it. If you missed part of the subject, stitch some frames together. It is easy for anyone, even newbies, to fit a part of one photo seamlessly into another.
Yes, quickly I have become sloppy. Just point the camera in the general direction of an interesting subject and let the camera take care of the details. With a little bit of post-processing we can all achieve images that match our minds eye and our memory.
Here are a couple of images as actually recorded:
And here the are they way I thought I saw them.
Isn’t technology marvelous?
© 2011 Ludwig Keck