Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Am I old fashioned or a purist? When I play golf, I use white golf balls. The same with tennis -- if I played. I prefer plain vanilla ice cream. Alvin Toffler said that change is the process by which the future invades our lives. Paradoxically, I’ve convinced myself that I’m not too resistant to change. Switching to digital from film cameras was a big move and a natural progression for me, since I find computers intriguing.
Photography for me is different. I prefer black and white for self expression, unadulterated black and white. Color has crept into my portfolio because it sells.
Post production manipulation of digital images has become all the rage in photography. It’s easy and tempting but getting an image right in the camera so that it doesn’t require a lot of “post” is the challenge.
I seldom use editing software and would rather not use it at all. It is reserved to crop the image, make minor corrections for lighting, sharpening, and color temperature (white balance).
When a scene has a wide range of lightness to darkness, the challenge for the photographer is to present distinguishable detail in both the light areas and the dark areas – not always easy to accomplish. A recent development in software is called “HDR”, “high dynamic range” which addresses this dilemma. Some amazing images result and none of them represent what the photographer actually saw through the viewfinder.
My goal is to produce a precise representation of what I see through my viewfinder. One image that displays my efforts at “getting it right in the camera” is “The Portal”, shot several years ago at a football game. Notice the detail in the dark areas while the highlights are not blown out. I think about this image a lot while shooting, always trying to do it again.