A camera is just a camera.

Started Apr 29, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP Hollander Senior Member • Posts: 1,370
Re: There's the rub.

howardroark wrote:

Hollander wrote:

howardroark wrote:

A camera is an artistic tool (or documentary tool, if making a record is the primary thrust of an image) that allows for a very specific way of expressing one's perspective. In the purest sense of the term, without manipulation that attempts to exaggerate color or brightness for the sake of visual impact or outright alteration, a photograph expresses reality in the purest way humans have as yet found to recreate what they actually see.

Howard I think I know where you're going and what you try to say, but we're just talking about photography as a hobby.

I know, I know. However, even the simplest human activity has meaning behind it and some social significance. History will be the judge of how important or influencial it all is, but we participate in and create current that will affect how humanity evolves in the future. Be casual about it and don't think about what importance your behavior has, but it's still there.

That is both the truth and the lie of a photograph: the assumption of absolute honesty and truth that a photograph affords itself by taking the light presented to a lens and recording it as-is also creates the momentum in the observer's mind leading them to forget everything the photograph changes or omits. We see an image, it looks real, and suddenly everything within the photograph loses the context of its surroundings without a similar correction taking place in our brains that might lend some balance to that fact. In other words, the photograph makes us forget the reality in which the subject exists. That could take the form of light, surroundings, or even sensory input other than visual.

For me a photograph is a reminder of how beautiful the person, animal or scenery was and if I alter it some through PP to make it look better, that would make me even happier. Everybody has a different viewpoint as how they see a picture. I would never criticize a person for their excessive PP if that's what they like.

Personal tastes abide. I wasn't talking about how each person uses their own images, but when one shares them and allows others to judge where they fall on the artistic spectrum there comes a point when the manipulation is much more dominant over the reality of the original scene. I'm not condemning creative license; I'm saying there are boundaries and that words matter.

So yeah, a camera is just a means to an end, but it is a very unique way to express oneself artistically. I tell my friends that I enjoy photography because I get to tell lies with the truth.

No guilt on my part when I tell my friends I like photography as they all know how much I like it.

And I always enjoy telling my friends what was really going on when I got the picture. When they know more about what was going on, how cold it was, how sunny it really was, then I think they can experience the image more completely.

It isn't only what one sees in the photograph but also what the cultural reputation photographs have that sets them apart from other artwork. That's why I'm not a huge fan of extreme manipulation,

Yet we're very happy to pay for a wedding photographer at our childrens wedding ceremony and I don't think the pictures he give us are SOOC.

A lot of wedding photography is artistic over documentary. There are always elements of both in a photograph, but many shots are staged, posed, or downright contrived nonsense that still makes for a pretty picture. More power to us all since there is no one correct use for a photograph.


because then you're advertising to people how full of crap you are.

I think you're out of line here Howard;

No, I was really referring to images that claim to still represent reality. Some people don't understand what an HDR image is or why it is so striking, and they assume that's what they would have seen if they'd been there with the photographer. I've been to many art shows and festivals, and I hear lay people making such comments and I want to tell them "no human has ever seen what you see in that 'picture.'"

Now this picture is heavy manipulated, it gave me great pleasure to do this and I like it. So does that mean I'm full of crap.

No, because it is obvious what your artistic intent is, and that includes making it clear that this is not reality. Poppies? Orange originally? I'm sure the California countyside out in Antelope Valley is blanketed right now.

BTW all my images are shot in RAW and processed in CS6 and with minimal PP ( no more than 90 sec.), as I have learned how to get the most out of the SX50 and still learning.

I do thank you for your comments and personal view.

To you, too. Manipulation doesn't always imply deception, but if one tries to pass a heavily manipulated image off as a representation of reality then I think they are trying to sell something, not create art.



To keep my brain active I'm looking forward to my next trip. So much to see yet and not enough time.

Howard, to fully understand what you're trying to say, I read and reread your answer many times over and over again. Then reading Ed's comment it dawns on me what you're getting at, but I'll admit that I 'll be reading this post a few more times.

It would have never occurred to me to see it this way. So thank you for your comments and your insight, very interesting.

The above picture was taken in the Skagit Valley Wa. and are tulips.

Thank you again Howard for your input.



 Hollander's gear list:Hollander's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX80 Olympus E-1 Olympus E-3 +3 more
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