The Tools of Creation

Art photographs are made, not taken. Whether it is in the lighting, technical & artistic skill of the photographer, or through using the tools of creation  (software) all are in someway a manipulation of reality. It can be very complex or simple. Here is an example of simple, which I believe added dynamic impact and more focus to the image’s statement.

Unprocessed Image (no manipulation):

Processed Image:

The bottom image has only the most simple of software enhancement/manipulation done to it. But in my opinion it is a much more dynamic image, and the removal of the wires and person take it from snap shot to art image. I believe that photographers that insist that “real” photographic art should only be created in camera limit their creative vision.

There are many tools which can be used to enhance images to become art, the key is once again the knowledge and vision of the person creating the art. Photographic art is like any art and requires learning a set of skills, one does not simply just pick up a brush and become a great artist. While some of the tools have easy ways to do the most basic of corrections, and some go a step farther by have a catalog of “looks” the artist can use, in my opinion only the artist who really understands the tools will achieve his/her creative vision. Otherwise you are relying on the computer and a program to take your image to the level of art, which most often results in a mass produced, look-a-like image without soul.



Digital Art – Some Thoughts


Digital Art – Some Thoughts that focus on the creation of works that are no longer photographs and that are not wholly created by hand. For this is where the intersection of traditional art and photography intersect. If you create something from something is that art? I find that the creations of images such as this one require thought and some expertise in the digital tools that are available. Yes, one can just use a filter and nothing else (leaving it at the default settings) and sometimes you get art, other times you get something less than art. What is the difference?

I think the definition is in the emotional impact and interest of the viewer (after all one person’s treasure is another man’s junk). Such things as merging photos and using the various artistic tools to create a vision rely on your knowledge of art and skill using whatever tools you have available is critical in developing an image that raises emotions and intellectual curiosity in viewers. But can one start with a photograph and using the digital darkroom create another type of art from it? Some people really dislike digital art, as do some photographers. But not me.

Creative art is not defined by how it is made but how it is viewed. I look forward to seeing the evolution of digital art and photography as the tools and the skills of the artist define new vistas.

The Feel of an Image

I spend a lot of time looking at the images of other photographers, some famous and some not. But the one thing I use as my standard on deciding if I like the photo is how the image first makes me feel when looking at it. For me images emote memories of things that mean something to me, whether it be a place, a time, a thing, or an emotion. Black and White (BW) images often convey that message for me stronger than color images. Perhaps it is because I grew up in the era of BW and home darkrooms or the fact that my favorite images and photographers all work in BW. The Feel of an Image is why I love photography.

Some element of an image must be the key if I am to like that image. In BW generally speaking it has to be the contrast range that defines the key elements in the image. When you look at work by Adams, Smith, or Weston, especially if you are seeing a print, they seem to have a dimensional reality of their own. The next time you are looking at images make a list of the elements of those you liked that first grabbed your attention, then review your own work looking for these type of elements. This is what will define your “style” which is so often hard for artist to do.