Monday, July 31, 2006

Lotus Flower Leaf - Amnicola Marsh, Chattanooga (July 2006)

There is an ongoing debate in the photographic community concerning what is "permissible" in photography. One faction would call it heresy to manipulate an image in any way, stating that by doing so, the photograph becomes a lie. The other faction states that photography is an artistic medium and any artist is free to do whatever he/she likes with his/her work.

My thoughts are as follows:

I think that photojournalistic and documentary photographers have to be held to a standard of non-manipulation, as far as changing the position of objects in a scene, etc. goes. However, it's also true that photography is an artistic medium, and artists are not limited to the same sort of standard.

Coming from a neural science and rehabilitation background, I'm acutely aware that two people perceiving the view from the top of a mountain will perceive that view in two entirely different ways. The colors they "see" will be different. The things they "feel" will be different.

"Reality" is created by their brains from sensory input they receive from eyes, ears, nose, proprioceptors, temperature receptors, etc. Everybody's brain will do slightly different things with these bits of information, giving everyone a very unique picture of the world.

Artistic photography is a way for an artist to express his/her unique view of the world, rather than what was captured by an unfeeling camera. That sort of photographic expression is no less real than a documentary or photojournalistic shot. It just fills a different void.

A documentary shot does well with expressing the exact location of things in space at a given time, but generally fails when attempting to express the emotion of a place. Artistic photography, or even a certain type of photojournalistic photography, expresses emotion beautifully, and shots that have been digitally, or otherwise, manipulated shouldn't be seen as any less valid.


Blogger Keri said...

Very well put and I agree completely (as the mom of an artistic photographer...)

Monday, July 31, 2006  
Blogger Sad said...

I agree too. Though I've always felt that the photographic lens doesnt do justice to the colors of nature. What you see with your own eyes doesnt translate onto film exactly like it was. Photos tend to dull beauty and lose the vibrance. If a photographer enhances colors on his image to resemble nature... I dont see the harm in that either!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006  
Blogger An Enlightened Fellow said...

Thank you both. I'm glad to know that my recent delinquency in posting hasn't lost my faithful few visitors. :)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006  
Blogger The Tart said...

Gorgeous photo!

And what most people don't realize is that darkroom alteration of a photo's image has been going on for decades ... software is just a dryer version ... kinda.
; )

I agree with your opinion!
The Tart

Tuesday, August 01, 2006  

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