The Object of Fine Art Photography…

       …is not to recreate a scene,
               but rather to recreate an emotion.

That is something I guess when pondered a bit, most of us who attempt fine art photography, and especially those of us who choose nature as our means of expression, would not take so much issue with.

But when you look under the hood, perhaps there is often a divergence. That divergence comes in the words “did you Photoshop it?”

My answer would be “does it matter?”

 f/18 1/13sec ISO-250 18mm
f/18 1/13sec ISO-250 18mm

My goal is not to faithfully reproduce a scene, but to make you, the viewer, feel like I felt when I saw it.   To that end, yes, I work my images in Photoshop, and other post processing tools I have at my disposal.  These are my brushes, my paint tubes, my pallet knives, my sponges, my tools to work on the canvas that is the image captured by me with my camera.   What I offer to you as a viewer is not the snapshot, but the art of the image created… created to engender the emotion I long to share with you.

The car in the background… it distracts.  The telephone pole, it goes away.  The color overall, perhaps too cool.  The tree that intrudes, becomes sky.  I have no problem adjusting these any more than I have a problem laying a red leaf on the autumn river bank as I shoot.

Our eye does the same thing when we look at a scene.   It deletes distractions and focuses on, well, the focal points that draw us in.

I took a shot of a wonderful creek with a waterfall and a barn in the background.  I loved the composition.  Spent quite a bit of time bracketing, slightly recomposing, adjusting.  When I got it back on the computer, I very plainly saw a wonderful blue heron standing in the pool at the base of the falls.   Never saw him when I was shooting it, because my mind took him out as a distraction.

This is called in the scientific world, “Selective Visual Attention.”   We filter out things that aren’t important when we are looking at something.  Our mind records the scene, and the emotion, with out the distractions. The mind filters out the unimportant, emphasizes the important, and attaches that adjusted image in memory… dynamically.   Basically, it will remember a scene as it chooses to completely subconsciously and fluidly.

When you look at a picture on the wall, your mind isn’t adjusting, deleting, composing.  The composition is there concretely, without motion, without mental distractions and that is what decides what you feel.   It is not dynamic like real life… it is fixed, created, finished.  The artist decided what to include, delete, and adjust to make you feel…

 

because

      The Object of Fine Art Photography…

                         …is not to recreate a scene,
                                        but rather to recreate an emotion.

 

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Photographer 

As a photographer and a hiker, I love making images of the natural world. I'm also and avid scuba diver and wannabe chef.

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