Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Should we have Photographic Principles?
It goes back to the question, what is photography, and what is art? Or is there a line at all? Aren't we all just trying to create beautiful pictures for people to enjoy? As I said, I used to not like the idea of blending in a sky that was not originally part of a picture, but what happens when you have a day out in a particular city, hoping to get some iconic shots of particular landmarks, and it is nothing but grey sky above? Or even worse, a blanket, empty, featureless sky? Is there no artistic licence to 'improve' the scene? Can I ask any more questions in this blog post? The perspective that made me change my mind, was this tutorial by Serge Ramelli (well worth a watch). He transforms a wonderful building with a featureless sky, into a much more interesting work of art. Although my favourite version of the picture, was about half way through the video, the point is that adding elements in the post processing stage can simply make a photograph much more interesting.
I still don't think it's wrong to call it photography, as you have to your original photograph in the first place, but I suppose there are people who are always going to say you cheated. Heck, people still think digital post-processing is cheating, but my opinion is that your work will soon become irrelevant, if you are not keeping up with modern developments and techniques. At the end of the day, the idea is to produce an image that people simply love to look at, and therefore nothing is really ever wrong. Of course I agree that competition photographs should be free from heavy enhancement (or whatever the particular rules are), but for art's sake, I do not think it is worth having any deeply-held principle, you are only likely to go against it one day.
The last question I will ask in this blog post, and one you should ask yourselves with your pictures, is does the image enhancement make it a better picture? You can see the original cloudy version (after some processing) below. It's all completely up to one's own preference of course, but I'm not sure a cloudy version of Big Ben, the London Eye, or a London bus would make it onto a souvenir postcard.