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Get Real

bakersfield_pond2Last month I had the good fortune to attend one of John Shaw’s 2-day seminars on digital photography and technique. It was a very thought-provoking 2 days for me. As an aside, for a static type experience, I would highly recommend it on the “bang for the buck” scale. John was very open to questions during the seminar (an in some cases, very patient with some of the questions/questioners).

One exchange resonated with me. When asked his opinion about a certain film’s closeness to “realistic color,” his instant retort was: “I could care less!”

With all the debates (on line and off) about realism and manipulation in the digital age, this one hit home for me. Some years back, an instructor in a photo class made the comment that serious photographers do not “take” photographs–we “make” them. I couldn’t agree more with both of these teachers.

I understand there is a place for “reality” in photojournalism and perhaps in scientific photography. But I also appreciate how perception and the limitations of the equipment and media make any absolute “reality” difficult if not impossible.

My own vision is to create what looks good to me from the scene or subject before me. I am not suggesting that we take a blank page in Photoshop and make things up. But colors, composition, cropping and perspective, and yes, even the judicious “photoshopping” (the verb) of an image is perfectly acceptable in my opinion in “making” the image I want the viewer to “see.”

I don’t see this as inconsistent with integrity. Most of my work leans toward “art” and I am not representing otherwise. Are my photos “manipulated?” Yes. Does that bother me? Not in the least.

New Site; New Blog

This blog is part of a new adventure, my website at Lightcentricphotography.com. I know that blogs are no longer something new or unique on the world wide web. I also know that they have become a feature almost always included on modern sites. I hope that this will be the personal area of my site where writings may ramble some, but will cover topics which are interesting to me and germane to my photographic experience.

My site, which has been under construction for some time, is now up. Like so many other things on the web, it will no doubt be a constantly changing site. It has started out as a place where I can showcase my own work in my own unique way. I am not a professional photographer, but a serious “hobbyist” with what I would define as “advanced” skills behind the lens and, increasingly, behind the keyboard, using Photoshop.

In addition to images, which are the obvious mainstay of a photography website, I have some informational materials (downloadable PDF files) which are designed to give others the benefit of my experience in locating and photographing certain subjects and locations.

Comments on the site and here are welcome.

I hope you’ll view and enjoy my site.

Andy