Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Of Photographic Challenges and Stereotypes

Too often the quality of a photograph is based on stereotypes such as sharpness/clearness and exposure, with subject matter being of least importance. One might have captured a controversial image of a starving infant in Africa, for example, but if that image doesn't meet the stereotypes, nobody will really see the message. What you WILL hear are comments such as "The image is out of focus" or "The exposure is off". Who came up with these ridiculous "rules"?

I recently read about some photographers who add "texture" to their photographs in post-processing. For example, to an image of a homeless person on the street, one might add a gravel texture to enhance the "hardness" of the image and make the message louder. Or to the image of a bride and groom, one might add a paisley texture. The combinations are endless and result in some interesting photographs that illicit a slew of emotions. I don't see anything wrong with using this process to enhance a photograph, and I kinda like it myself.

What I find wrong, however, is that the author of this particular article posted a "how to" and stated that is impossible to achieve this sort of layered effect in-camera. I took that as a personal challenge and created the image you see below, which by a few people has been likened to an oil painting. Let me remind you: this effect was achieved in-camera, not in post-processing!

Anthony Reading a Book

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