Today we’re awash in images. We’re all running around capturing snippets of what we saw when we were “there.” Personally, I’ve been grabbing those snippets here and there for decades. The big change? Now I do it “professionally.”
Why is it I still feel like the biggest amateur out there?
Probably because I still am. And I’ll continue to be for as long as I choose to keep shooting. There’s always somebody better, there’s always somebody cooler, and there always will be.
Because what would I do without something further to aspire to? Well, I can tell you…..I’d get really bored.
But even sitting around feeling like the biggest amateur of them all, the images that I generate here and there are definitely something. They’re the document of a moment. They’re the living and breathing monument to the moment I was there. The images you’re collecting up in your own way, whether through photography, painting, writing, or just simple memory…..they’re your documents.
They’re absolutely something.
Black and white, straight shooting, RAW with edits, HDR, psychotically manipulated, photoshoped to the extreme, and multi-layered insanity run a muck…… They’re all the document of something. Be it the actual moment or your creative expression loaded up with more caffeine than I took in on a good day in the engineering world (I lived for coffee, and Dunkin Donuts stock went down the day I gave it up). Whatever the image is you offer up, it is in fact something.
I recently read, to my disappointment, a diatribe against HDR. And yes, I promised months ago I was done questioning things about HDR and felt settled about it as a legitimate photo processing method. I am settled about that. But reading what was before me, I became extremely disappointed.
A photographer / blogger ranted against the use of HDR. Hey, ranting is fun. And it has it’s place. But this rant really struck me. It reminded me of my elementary school art teacher. My way or the highway. HDR isn’t legit, and is detrimental to photography. The rant went on. It trashed on the entire medium. It wasn’t photography.
Well, because it just isn’t.
Take a look around at the “masters.” There were edits in their day. Just a different way of doing them. Dodging and burning in the darkroom to actually fake clouds that weren’t there. Black and white….yeah, that’s realistic…..if you’re a dog (oh wait, recent scientific data states they might be able to see more of the spectrum of color…..ah well, another theory blown). Heavily saturated films….yeah, they exist too.
So, what’s legit?
Well, it’s all legit to be honest. Your image. Your vision. And in the end, whether or not some dude on a website says you’re “in fair play” or not, your image in the end is something. As I said above. A document of a moment. Right on the money, distorted by poor setup, or distorted by your efforts to do something beyond the scene……it’s still something.
Present what you want. Shoot how you want. Process how you want. Don’t process at all. Make layer upon layer if you need to.
Show your document of the moment. If nothing else, I’d like to see it. And I won’t bother you about how you got there with the image………
I will bother you about how you got “there” if it’s a neat place. I like to see neat places. It’s one of those personal quest things. Cool places? Yeah, I want to see them. And if you present something compelling, no matter how you achieved the result, I’ll be curious to know where it is you went.
Because you presented me something that I want to see too. And I’ll thank you for that. Show it however you see fit. It’s your moment, and it is in fact something no matter what the “pros” say.