Do You Trust Photography?

The other day a friend of mine Sue an amazing artists (sueshanahan.com )were having a conversation about photography. See her husband was looking at photographs on the computer from one of those sites that have "amazing and unusual" photographs. You first must understand that her husband and mine would rather be in the garage working on a car, or out back chopping wood than touching the keyboard on a computer, and when it comes to words like "composition, shutter speeds, editing or aperture, we may as well be talking in another language. She told me he was amazed at a winter scene photograph that had been obviously worked on in Photoshop. When she mentioned to him that the scene was probably not real  and the photographer used Photoshop to make this, I could feel his concern from here. Then is any photograph real?

I hear it all the time. Is this right out of the camera? Did you Photoshop this picture? Why don't my photos look like that?

The average person is questioning if the photographs they are looking at are real or made up on a computer. The answer is not simple. It could be both.

The camera, the lens, the software are all tools for us. No different from the brushes, paint, pencils and paper are to the artist. It is what we use to make the images and illustrations we do.

I personally try to keep my photographs as close to what I saw as far as  and was attracted to at the time, but sometimes I want more than that, I want you to see something of beauty in the subject. Be it the old-time feeling of a historical place, the strength of a horse, or the character of a person.   This is when software and the computer are the tools I need to make this happen.

Yes there are photographs that have subjects taken out, and others put in and backgrounds changed, but the photographer no different from the artist is trying to make something beautiful, or thought-provoking or say something with that photograph in an artistic way.

So can you trust photography? Is what you are seeing really the way it looked?

I will let you decided by showing three photographs here.

  • The first one:  This is right out of the camera ( which is how the camera saw the scene)
  • The second one:  Is after I added color, contrast ect. to give depth to the photography but did not take anything out.
  • The third one: This is what I visioned. I took the telephone wires out because I am sure when this was built there were none, I gave it an old feeling, which this is an old building, and added some effects to make it look like a painting.

So as you can see from these three photographs, the subject is the same but I think you will agree that the third one best represents what this old Water Mill was and is today. I guess it is truly all about your individual taste when it comes to photography and what you like and do not like. We the photographer and  artists of any form must do what we vision and feel and let the work speak to whom ever will listen.

So I think you can trust photography if you understand that it is the photographer presenting to you what they felt, and wanted to say about the subject. No matter how they ended up with the result.

Love to hear your comments about this subject.