"It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary." David Bailey
As a college student I was both an art major and a biology major which gives me some experience to address the quote above concerning the differences between photography and painting. Years ago the statement above would have been true and I have made such comments during discussions with other artists and photographers. Today, however, photography has seen the playing field similar to the "traditional arts thanks to the digital age. It has even been said by some that the famed photographer, Ansel Adams, would have been thrilled to take his art into the digital medium.
Digital photography has brought photographers to the point of having an increased vision into the future of an image while standing behind the camera at the time of capture. The same was true during the film based days of photography and Mr. Adams is the "director in chief" when it comes to planning the path of an image before it has even been exposed in the camera. Today, however, there are many more options for the photographer when planning the course of an image prior to exposure. Such items as textures, digital painting, digital manipulation, cloning, compositing and all the rest, give a certain sort of "muscle" the the finished product. The image above is a product of not only the capture of a winter morning in rural Iowa, but also subtle changes using textures, color controls and deliberately placed editing processes.
The downside of the large palette of creative features with digital photography, in my opinion, is the the overuse or extreme use of of various tools of the creative processes. In these cases some images would have been better left alone rather than "fluffing" them up to the extreme. That being said the photograph is no different than any other art in that it is a product of the photographers efforts, both visually and internally. The photograph is a translation of ones efforts; an effort not to be made fun of, but acceptably critiqued.
Finally, the concepts of digital photography are the same as film photography and the "traditional" arts in that the use of such tools as composition, design, spacial use, light, etc. are vital in achieving an acceptable camera exposure to work with. The digital world has become a trash heap of works of "in the moment" products of digital photography. This has become clearer to me since my use of both Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If one can get by the huge preoccupation by camera owners who "give" us a view into there personal lives or activities, one still has to claw their way through mounds of drab, confused and purposeless photography. Whether it be a blurred close up of a dogs eye, or a tilted landscape with a rising sun trying to evade sliding off the screen, there do seem to be problems with the "this is good, this is not" part of the editing process.
Again, this is just the opinion of a tired, grumpy photographer and not meant to deter anyone from learning or experimenting with the art of photography. Oh, and by the way, I am still learning as well! It will never end.
Thank you for visiting this site and I hope you all have a great week. Remember, Spring is just around the corner. I can hardly wait for the Summerwind Gallery to open this summer!
Other sites where you can find my work:
Summer Wind Gallery, Arnolds Park, Iowa http://www.summerwindgallery.com