After spending hours researching the different types of photography out there, I have to admit I was a bit caught off guard by the level of controversy surrounding what people feel is and isn’t photography.
There are those who believe that you are not really a photographer unless you practice only pure photography – getting it right, straight out of the camera, with no post processing manipulation.
You say what?
Ansel Adams turned dodging and burning into stunningly beautiful form of art. He simply did so in a darkroom rather than using the digital image editors we use today. Does that mean his results were not real or pure?
Who are we to define what is and isn’t photography?
Don’t get me wrong.
I have no issues whatsoever in those who choose to shoot pure images that exactly replicate the scene they saw in front of them without any editing. My only issue is when that choice is pushed on others as the only way and that any other results are fake.
That being said some styles of photography have taken digital manipulation to a whole new level with HDR (high dynamic range) producing incredible surreal results.
Is there an imaginary line that we cross when a photograph enters the realm of too much processing?
If so, who decided where that line is?
When does it stop being considered photography?
The results in this picture are not reality. Why? Because, reality is not what I saw in my viewfinder. Reality is that dozens of people passed by this woman without even seeing her. She blended right into the background. I SAW HER! My image represents what I saw in my mind and in my heart. THAT is what photography is.
No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” – Ansel Adams
In my humble opinion, photography is about the photographer conveying what THEY see in their mind and in their thoughts – what the scene makes them FEEL. If the image is able to portray that, then it is a success.
I would love to hear your open and honest thoughts on this highly debated topic. I truly appreciate a lively and passionate discussion but I am asking that we do so in a respectful manner being mindful of the feelings of others.