Reality vs Art   1 comment

IMG0710-Edit-Edit-1-upload“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” – Ansel Adams

I love taking pictures. I can not paint or draw worth a darn so my artistic expression is done with a camera and nowdays a computer along with some software. As much as I’d like to shoot film again and get back into a wet black and white darkroom, old age and circumstances make it pretty much impossible. So a few digital cameras, Lightroom and Photoshop take their place. But the eye remains the same. And the need to make art still lives.

I have nothing against those who are what I call “documentary photographers.” They believe that the image the camera sees should be kept as pure as possible. And for certain types of photography that should be the way it is. If you are doing legal photography or shooting for the National Geographic or even for your local newspaper, those images should be as accurate as possible. No changing colors, removing objects or any such manipulation should be allowed. However, if you are attempting to make your version of “Art” then, to me, the sky’s the limit!

I have the following paragraph prominently displayed on the first page of my website “Photographs on this site are not meant to be exact representations of an actual scene as recorded by the camera. As a visual artist rather than a documentary photographer, I reserve the right to alter each image to represent my impression of the scene. I may have increased contrast, changed exposure, color, format, dynamic range, added or removed objects or made other changes to the image. The final image may be composed of more than one image stitched or layered together. Because of this possible manipulation of the image, the image is not to be considered as a documentary representation of the scene as it existed.” I want to create the mood I felt when I captured the image, how I felt, what I saw inside my mind. Maybe the image will turn out to be a total disaster to many, but that’s okay. The photographs I make are to satisfy my inner artistic desires and if they ring a bell with others that’s wonderful, but that is not why I make photographs. I make photographs to please me!

As you can see, the attached image does not exist in reality. In reality the skies are blue, the clouds are a gray/white mixture, the grass is green and the water is blue and the sun is shining. But to me, I saw stark black trees and landscape against an ominous sky, devoid of any color. I saw a somewhat dark, foreboding winter scene, not one filled with color and sunlight. The color and sunlight image may come another day, but this day I saw what I felt – loneliness.


Posted March 25, 2014 by hwilliam in Photography

One response to “Reality vs Art

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  1. Beautiful picture and nicely written!!

    Kitten Linderman

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