The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!

Started Apr 17, 2014 | Questions thread
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Re: The Past "Photography" the Future "Imagery" Not for ME!
In reply to Joris1632, Apr 18, 2014

Joris1632 wrote:

Post processing has always happened but the main reason has hardly ever been artistic.

On the contrary, that's really the main reason images were, and are, post-processed. It's to satisfy the artistic preferences of the shooter. If it wasn't for artistic reasons, people wouldn't bother with post-processing at all. In the film days, they would just drop their film off at the local 1-hour photo lab, order up a print, and accept whatever came back to them! Can you imagine Ansel Adams doing that?

As for your statement that "Professionals then, as now, had it done for them"...yes, that's quite true. But "professionals" entrusted their images to post-processors that they trusted on an artistic level. Indeed, the post-processor is an artist in his own right, applying his own artistic judgement to the image. For example, Cartier-Bresson collaborated with Voja Mitrovic as his trusted printer.  I think this caption says a lot about the relationship of one artist (Cartier-Bresson) to another (Mitrovic) from this article:

I think both Cartier-Bresson and Mitrovic, as well as many other darkroom artists, would be insulted by your erroneous assumption that "the main reason [for post-processing] has hardly ever been artistic."

As Ansel Adams said in book The Print (1983):

“The print values are not absolutely dictated by the negative. The creativity of the printing process is distinctly similar to the creativity of exposing negatives; in both cases we start with conditions that are “given,” and we strive to appreciate and interpret them. In printing, we accept the negative as a starting point that determines much, but not all, of the character of the final image.”

Yes, the negative (and the original digital file) are only the starting point. Post-processing is the other half of the creative and artistic process of photography-- the first half being the initial step of exposing the negative (or the image sensor). So to say that the main reason for post-processing
"has hardly ever been artistic" is totally erroneous. On the contrary, the desire to achieve artistic satisfaction with one's images has been the main reason many people partake in post-processing. Yes, out-of-camera images can be perfectly acceptable. But post-processing is the way many imaging artists put their unique artistic stamp on an image.

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