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Shadow & Minaret Creek Headwaters Backpack story

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Postby Buck Forester » Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:44 pm

Well shoot dang, I think I agree with everything you just said! :) Hopefully we can hook up for an adventure someday!



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Postby Ciocc » Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:09 pm

The professional shoots for the client. If the client wants a deeply saturated blue sky, or a deep red sunset, then that's what the professional shoots if he/she wants to get paid.

The amatuer shoots for himself/herself. If the amateur loves muddy, poorly saturated colors, then that's what the amatuer shoots, regardless of what anyone else thinks of it.

So one must ask: who am I shooting for, myself or someone else?

The professional will do whatever is necessary in Photoshop to produce the result the client demands. The amateur will do whatever is necessary in Photoshop to produce the result that he/she demands. It's in the fine art world where things get heated. I think partly it's because people aren't sure if photographic art (color) is supposed to represent reality or not. Painters don't have that problem. There's no question that paintings don't represent reality. B&W fine art photographers don't have that problem either. Everyone knows B&W photographs don't represent reality, hence the freedom to manipulate a B&W print in the darkroom or on the computer. Most people associate color photographs with reality, hence the debates about Photoshop manipulations. More and more people are learning to look at fine art color photography as an object in itself, rather than representation of reality, just like paintings and B&W photographs. Fine art color photography is still in it's growing stage.
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Postby SteveB » Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:31 pm

Good thoughts from everyone. Might I also add that the camera cannot capture what the eye sees, only a range of colors and contrast. It's in the post processing (if any) that the photog attempts to tweak the captured light to more represent what he/she saw when the picture was taken. Something will always be missing: it's in the post processing where the photog attempts to compensate for what is missing and works around what can't be added. I try to keep that in mind whenever I tweak an image afterwards. :) I just hope folks don't see blown out greens and unnatural pinks in their final redition! ;)

As for B&W, I still see that as either a photojournalistic medium or fine art. I'm always amazed what a simple black and white (not a color digital incorrectly converted to black and white/greyscale) image can portray that a color image of the same scene can't. I think there's much more depth and emotion in true B&W film shots that we can ever achieve with color. But that's just my humble opinion... ;)
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Postby Ciocc » Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:50 am

"Good thoughts from everyone. Might I also add that the camera cannot capture what the eye sees, only a range of colors and contrast. It's in the post processing (if any) that the photog attempts to tweak the captured light to more represent what he/she saw when the picture was taken. "

What did he/she see when the picture was taken? If you took a survey, you'd be surprised at the variety of answers you will get. Some folks say their images are not attempts at duplications of reality, but instead reflect what they "saw and felt". The sky was not so dark or blue in reality, but the scene caused an "emotional response" in them, such that printing with a dark or deep blue sky was the only way to convey that emotion. This type of talk is quite common among B&W darkroom workers. If you ever have a chance to see the original version of Ansels most famous photograph: "Moonrise, Hernandez N.M.", you'd be stunned. It doesn't look anything like the version that is now famous. Unfortunately the latitude that color landscape printers have is very small. You darken the sky too much and the color becomes quite illogical. This isn't a problem with B&W. This is why creative color landscape photography is very difficult. If you're out to duplicate reality with a color landscape photograph, then things become much easier: you don't need any latitude. If you're out to be creative with color lanscape photography, Photoshop is a blessing. The latitude is still small, but Photoshop makes the manipulations sooooo much easier, precise and repeatable than it is in a color darkroom. I can say that from experience.

As a B&W darkroom worker for over 10+ years, I must say that there are many scenes that just don't work in B&W. There are many times when I'm in the Sierra that I wished I had color negative film in my camera. Attempting to convey the beauty of alpenglow on a mountain peak is very difficult in B&W. Color prints made using processes that have long been obsolete can have depth and emotion. They are magnificent. Unfortunately those processes are very expensive and time consuming, hence their disappearance. The newer digital processes can be quite beautiful in my opinion. Those digital color prints hanging in the Mountain Room in the Yosemite Lodge just blew me away! I don't care what, if any, manipulations were done. They are just magnificent.
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