Creative License

I often wonder if the whole concept of a Supreme being might simply be simply inspired by our own primal and innate desire to create. While the Great One’s handiwork resulted in the construction of an entire Universe from what was apparently a black and silent void, we humans are constrained to create by mixing, adding, subtracting, blending, and fabricating from those substances that are already available to us here on earth, in the sky above us and from within our own imaginations.

For me, nothing is more gratifying than to find a scene or place in the world that I can capture, then later render on screen or in print, to convey a similar ambience, presence and beauty as what I witnessed originally. To accomplish this, sometimes I feel the need to enhance the original by using, say, Photoshop to bring out a particular mood or ‘look’ that more closely approximates what I felt at the time I took the image.

There are purists who might argue that this is a shameful manipulation of nature through invasive use of technology. I would on the other hand, argue that it is nothing more than an artful interpretation in order to bring others a vision more in line with our own. (I am not referring to images meant for editorial or documentary consumption of course since they are expected to be a true and faithful rendition of events and happenstance. I am, rather, referring to images that might be considered artful or interpretive in any other venue.)

So whether or not you are a religious or spiritual soul, remember that when you are creating your images for sale. .or perhaps even for your own personal pleasure. . that you are simply making full use of, and exhibiting, an inherited trait (instinct or urge if you will) carried forward from your original source. . whatever you claim that to be.

Each of these images closely approximate what I saw in the viewfinder of my camera, but depart to one degree or another from the original resulting capture. Most of the manipulations of the images here involved subtle changing of levels, color balance, and exposure to provide a more appealing and representative image. In some cases filters were used to provide a gradient or texture that was not present originally, but which ultimately helped create the mood I felt when I first saw the scene in front of me.

Photo credits: Lightart.

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Irisangel

Very well put. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is a very well accepted expression, but when the beholder can create an image that shows that beauty to others, that is an artist. Wether it be, painting, drawing or photography, being able to convey, not only the beauty, but the feeling of a scene is a special gift and the stuff that true artists are made of. Love the "San Franscisco at Sunrise" image.

Littlemacproductions

I have always found it very interesting that teachers try and bend creativity to their view. By that they stifle creativity. Being an x-art student at a fine arts university, I was once told that I tree I drew wasn't a tree. My question to him was "How did you know it wasn't a tree if it didn't look like one?" Oh well I quit fine arts and went into a photography course where the teacher pushed creativity and the final grade was on your intent and the creative process and yes the technical aspects of developing.

Don, I love the cloud face the mostest!

Sophieso

Nicely put, Don. Even in the old days of film there was some kind of manipulation done in the darkroom. The original capture just can't capture the experience of being surrounded by the visual, while at the same time all our other senses are being stimulated. As photographic artists, isn't our job to communicate to other more than what our simple tools are capable of expression? Whatever it takes to get the job of creation done, so be it. My first photography teacher was old school film, and for years he insisted that any manipulation of any kind in PS made the photograph a photographic illustration. He sings a different tune these days. He finally let go of the old door and walked through the new one opening in front of him. He's never looked back.

I love the images you have posted. They nicely do the job of stimulating multiple senses and communicating. That's what it's all about, right? You betcha.

Elenaray

beautiful thinking and images

Maigi

Great article, Don! I feel the same, that medium are only tools for creating art. We, humans, tend to put everything in boxes and label it - this is photography, this is drawing, this is movie. We like clear and simple borders, we draw between and around everything, then we feel safe. Everything what we can't put label on it, makes us feel confused and lost, and we start to cry - no-no nobody does it this way, it should be done in that way!! Mixed medium, innovative approaches to familiar subjects are very hard to accept. When I started to study photography, a teacher once said: "No, you can't manipulate your photo with your program so much, it's not fair. Programs are meant only for refining." It was very hard for me to understand that concept. I think when you are creating art then it doesn't matter, which medium you are using - they are only tools. And photography is an art, isn't it? And me too, I'm not talking about photojournalism - that's the totally different story.

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