Photographer’s Philosophy

Man with the Stache

To use Photoshop to enhance my picture or not is a continuous discussion amongst photographers. The question is less practical and more philosophical. The real question is what was your intent when taking the picture and what is your intent when displaying the picture.

I rarely modify my pictures because I generally want people to have the semblance of what was there. It is my journalistic style and there fore my intent is to show reality. I do my best to modify the photograph in photoshop only to bring out the shadows to show the image as I saw it when I took it.

Sometimes of course, the picture may show what I saw but will not show what I felt. The photograph by itself cannot bring out the heightened senses which were created by my emotion during that moment with the subject matter at hand. When this happens I do a lot of Photoshop work with filters and other tools to go beyond what was there and to add what I felt. At that point I care less that the viewer have a direct observation as that maybe quiet ordinary, what I want is them experience what I felt. Here the art of knowing how to compose and shoot the picture gives way to knowing how to express oneself with the digital tools at hand. Here colors and geometric shapes and focus on specific items in the frame that you focused on take priority over the authenticity of the shot as you focus on authenticity of the feeling.

So when shooting and embarking on post processing, ask yourself, are you showing what happened or how you felt about what happened. Let that be the guide of how you present the photograph.

Thanks and till next time, happy shooting.


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