How much is too much?

Okay, I could name names and provide visual references to surely justify this rant but out of respect for others I wont. Increasingly I am seeing images that are so heavily processed it’s utterly distasteful. Do manufactured sunbursts, stitched in skies and so forth really have a place in nature photography? I don’t think so! It’s a disservice to our natural environment and those that view these images.

Sure, I use lightroom and photoshop too, these applications should be used for subtle editing but not complete fabrication.

One of the worst things that I think can happen, is for someone to see an image of a particular place, become inspired to visit the location but only to discover upon arrival that it’s nothing like what they saw.

Are we falling victim to what we think might sell? I believe this may be the case. If it’s an artistic expression one is attempting to accomplish, why not learn how to understand in camera settings, how light works, etc. Anyone can watch YouTube and learn how to “design an image” with these applications.

In closing, I ask those that photograph the natural world to respect the beauty in front of your lens and not alter it altogether while sitting at home in front of a computer.



2 Comments on “How much is too much?

  1. Hmmm, I agree, and then I disagree. Photographers have always tried to get the best image out of their negatives so there’s nothing new under the sun, especially as it is now just a little easier than it once was. Cameras still don’t always give me what I see and cameras vary in how they were set up to process the image. I have been guilty of manufacturing sunbursts and stitching in skies. Needs must. I don’t have the time to wait for perfection. Coming from an art trained background, I see the whole process as a creative one and though I would prefer to have it all done in camera, it rarely is. So i’m not a purist, but then I don’t have the equipment to try my hand at nature, and thus don’t feel constrained by the whole truth and nothing but. When I attempt documentary or street photography I mostly limit my meddling to contrast, colour and vignetting, but portraits can get some changes to distracting backgrounds. The result is that some of my images end up looking more painterly, but that’s how I work. What we are talking about is discernment and making judgements. You suggest that anybody can learn to design an image. I agree, but doing it well is another story. I reserve the right to approach my photography the way that suits me, though it may not suit everyone. We should all do what we are comfortable doing! Thanks Martin for giving me the chance to be contentious…..
    Best regards, John.

    • Thank you for your input, it’s evident through your work that you have mastered this form of expression and I applaud you for doing so. It’s unfortunate that many others diminish their own efforts by attempting to do so but I suppose we have to offer grace in learning.

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