Zero Gravity Photographs, Part II: Image Manipulation

July 22, 2014  •  1 Comment

Here is another image I made while relaxing in my zero gravity chair in my backyard.

Okay, I admit it, the scene didn't really look like this. On this one I did something I almost never do.  I manipulated the image by using the Cross Process Art Filter built into my Olympus OMD EM-5.

That got me wondering if special effects, whether applied in-camera or later using software, are a boon or a bane? 

In landscape photography it seems de rigour these days to boost colour saturation to unrealistic levels. Instagram type filters rule in iPhone photography.  And at the computer, many photographers apply an array of image manipulation software to their digital files, heavily modifying them.

This in itself is not a bad thing.  The results can be visually arresting.  Pity though the traveler who visits the Grand Canyon and finds it less captivating in reality than in published photographs.

Photographers face a dilemma.  Strive to capture reality, a moment in time, a story as photojournalists and street photographers do?  Or, go free-form and create an image as an end in itself?

It comes down to intent.

Many lens-artists create works where the out-of-camera image was always seen as only a starting point and where a different final result was always the goal. That is much easier to justify than trying to salvage a so-so image with post-production software, or adding unwarranted whizz-bang.

Other photographers want to use their cameras to show life around them and so do minimal post-processing. Or, more accurately, to show life as they see it.

 I count myself in the latter camp. But hey, it was fun to flip the camera onto Art Filter and play.

posted by Ted Nodwell




Terry Fuller(non-registered)
I find post processing to be a fun part of photography - call it fine art photography. However, this summer I have been using less and less of the filters available to me, which compels me to really look at the scene in camera. My art as a photographer is dynamic rather than static - never stays the same and I grow as a result of it. I look at some of my photographs of, say, ten years ago, and what I thought was a great capture doesn't sing for me anymore because my technical and artist skills have gotten better (IMHO).
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