A Daily Jolt of Photography Goodness
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Monday, May 9, 2011
Before and After Analysis
So, I thought it might be interesting to see what my images looks like before I work on them. I've mentioned on earlier posts how I work in a way that is similar to 'painting on a digital canvas', literally painting in colors, highlights, and shadows through Photoshop. These images really show the painting process in the After shot. The more I show my work to others (who aren't photographers) and talk about the process through which I create these images, the more interesting i find their responses. People are used to traditional photography. They're not sure how to think about the type of images that I create because they are quite different than what they are used to seeing as "photography." It looks like a photo....but it kind of looks like an illustration...but it's printed on photographic paper...but it could also pass as a painting... HaHaHa. I mean, look at the two images above. Which would you rather have hanging on your wall? The "Before" shot is properly exposed for the range of light at the moment this scene was shot. But it is so flat and boring, right? Cameras see differently than humans see. Cameras, even the highest end cameras, can only handle a limited range of light. That is why when we take a photograph of a scene, particularly if that scene is a 'high contrast' scene (lots of bright and dark areas), the end result has lost many details in either burned out highlights or dark shadows. But...when we were looking at that same scene with our eyes, we were able to see those details. My memory of the scene that I photographed above is more consistent with the "After" shot. It was an autumn afternoon with warm light, close to sunset. The colors of the leaves were very vivid and saturated. The red barn really popped out among the foliage. But, the photograph straight out of my camera did not capture any of that. After I completed post processing, the image conveyed the spirit of that barn much, much better. So it's kind of a funny phenomenon...how people find "modern" photograph a bit strange when it's really more consistent with what our eyes actually see versus traditional photography which has never really been able to capture a scene realistically due to its technical limitations.