Another image from my spontaneous foothill foray last week. It had stormed most of the day and I thought the conditions looked promising for a nice sunset, so I grabbed my camera and made for the foothills. As the sky started to light up I pulled over near a tree-topped hillside and went to work.
I could tell that the sun was going to pop out from behind the clouds just before it dropped below the horizon, a great opportunity for a starburst. Capturing a starburst requires a small aperture (at least f16) and a brilliant point source of light. But when the sun is in an area of the sky that's mixed clouds and clear, sometimes it's difficult to tell the best time. So that evening I tried several frames to be sure I nailed it.
But anyway, that's really what's on my mind right now. I'm doing an art show this weekend and it's always fun to watch and hear people's reaction to my images. I shoot with large prints in mind, so it's always fun to display my prints, and gratifying to know that they're genuinely appreciated by others. But I also occasionally get the "Is that the way it really looked" question (if you've been following my blog you know the answer is "No!"); I wish I could just send everyone who asks that question to my August blog series. But since I can't, I simply give them as much of the abridged version as I think they can understand.
It's unfortunate that the credibility of digital photography has been damaged by the digital photographers who abuse the post-processing tools available to them--sometimes they're simply fixing problems that would have been better addressed in the field; sometimes they're "improving" the original image with flashy filters and effects; and sometimes they're just plain deceiving (for example, by inserting a moon or rainbow where one didn't exist). Regardless of the motive, it seems that the viewing public has become dubious of all things digital.
But the fact is, digital photography is here to stay (for many reasons), and we'll all benefit by a consensus on the definition of ethical image processing. To me the key is to not deceive. The rule of thumb I try to apply is to keep my creativity in the capture--I'm a film shooter at heart, and while I acknowledge that digital makes many things much easier, I don't really want to do (and in fact get no pleasure from) anything that wouldn't have been possible with film and a darkroom. But then, maybe I'm old fashioned....
* Website: Eloquent Images
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