I’ve started playing around with my photos from Albuquerque. Not every shot is perfect. Sometimes I wasn’t at the top of my game. Other times, it was Mother Nature who was the slacker.
Later today, when I invite Helaine to choose the ones we’ll save¹, she’ll take a look and get upset. To her, a photo should be what comes out of the camera – period. To me, a photo is just the starting point. It’s OK to ‘help’ it out with level adjustments and tweaking.
I’ve included a very small example. I’m not sure if this size conveys the changes I’ve made.
The photo was masked into two separate layers – balloons and sky. Each was adjusted independent of the other. So, there’s more sharpening and brightening on the balloons. There’s more contrast added to the sky (and a tiny addition of blue tint).
If a photo is a work of art, I should be OK embellishing nature. If, on the other hand, photography is a electromechanical process, maybe I should leave well enough alone.
We didn’t get a chance to see the Ansel Adams exhibit while in Las Vegas. His photos have exaggerated contrast and other unworldly features. Adams didn’t have Photoshop, but he was killer in the darkroom.
If I do my tweaking, making reality a little better, I’ll remember that.
¹ – Actually, I never throw out a shot. In this case ‘save’ is a euphemism for print or add to an photo album.