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Respect your past images

Richard Charpentier Arizona, HDR, Notes from Rich, Photography, Prescott, RLC Design Leave a Comment

Where we’ve been shapes where we’re going.  Right?  Well, sometimes I think we all forget that.  Honestly, I’m super guilty on that note photographically.  I owe my old images an apology.

For longtime readers you know I enjoy creating HDR images.  Back when I first started out they were heavy handed, extreme, and surreal.  Some pretty cool images to be sure.  But over time I’ve worked hard on making really real HDRs.  A subtle touch, light toning, etc.  Last year one of my Grand Canyon shots was in my mind, perfect!  And the responses I got on several image communities confirmed that perfection.  A totally realistic HDR!

While on my quest to do more subtle HDRs I fell into a trap.  A snobbish trap that left me distancing myself from my original HDRs.  And for all of my defending HDR I actually started behaving like all the haters out there who just can’t get over it.  I started thinking of my early pieces as no good.  But you know, they stand on their own.  They’re part of the journey.  And I can’t believe I let folks tarnish that for me.

The reason I write this today is because a phone order came in the other week.  A woman in the Valley ordered a 24×36 canvas of my “Sunset” in the Granite Dells.  It was my first experimentation with HDR and Monsoonal clouds.  It’s super surreal.  It’s what so many photographers out there HATE about HDR.  And when Ian told me about the order I said, “Really?  That’s kind of surreal.  Are you sure that’s what she wanted?”  Ugh!  Can you believe my own reaction.  Shame, shame, shame.

I printed the piece recently to get ready for shipping.  It got stretched on canvas and put out front for a few days.  And you know something?  It’s super cool on canvas!  And at 24×36 it really catches you.  The best part?  Over the week so many people have come through the gallery and LOVED the piece.  Several paper print versions have been ordered.  Non-photographers absolutely went nuts over it.  And snobbish HDR haters made their usual comments.  But you know what?  It sold, so their opinion counts for nothing in the final analysis.  I’m in business to earn a living, not to satisfy folks who aren’t selling.  And it’s inspired me to play around with some more surreal landscapes again.

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