Saturday, January 20, 2007

State of the "Art"?

For those of you who read this, please excuse this rant, but I have to get it off my chest.

In today's issue of the local newspaper, there is an image by a local photographer of the flyover for President Ford's internment a few weeks ago.

Here is a link to the image

It shows the 21 planes during the flyby up the Grand River. Looks good, doesn't it?

Except it's fake.

The photographer - who shall remain unnamed in case he somehow finds this (and me) and wants to sue - was quoted as saying "that's the photo that I had in my head. I think it's much more powerful that way." Well, to this photographer, that statement is bullsh*t.

I've been a photographer for over 25 years. In that time, I've shot my fair share of formal and informal events: from weddings, portraits, social gatherings, sports, etc. I've also done quote a bit of nature and specialized photography. And what you see is basically what I've shot.

Now, I'm not against working on the print to get the best available product from the negative. Heck, even Ansel Adams, perhaps the greatest American photographer who ever lived, considered (in musical composer terms) the negative "just the notes" and his finished print "the performed works." I've done my share of dodging, burning, and spotting in the darkroom to make a final print. And yes, in this age of digital imaging, I've used the computer to "fix" little things (a hair out of place, a straggling thread on a sleeve, etc.)

But I have never... NEVER... manipulated an image because what I saw in the "real world" wasn't what I saw "in my mind." To be, it's utter fabrication; it's blatant prevarication. You are, in essence, saying "that's not really how it happened, I know better."

This photographer is proud that he has manipulated his image to fit what he "thinks it should have been." In doing so, he's lowered himself to be as bad - if not worse - than someone who has stolen works and paraded them as their own (copyright infringement).

Thank you for letting me vent.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Hi,This is my first visit to this site and I completely agree with you about that photographer wannabe.I have a astronomy blog myself that contains images that I have taken.I may enhance an image by removing a unwanted dust particle or boost the contrast and saturation to possibly bring out more detail but,I have never, ever added more objects to an image and say "this is what I saw in my head".When I post an image,I want people to see what I see.Almost as if they were looking through my scope themselves.Your rant is well justified!!!!.The photographer might as well have added a few space shuttles and perhaps the ISS for good measure.Perhaps the photographer should consider other areas of photography such as crop circles or getting Bigfoot to pose for him?! who is ranting?!.Thanks,that felt good!!.
Clear skies!