Sunday, March 24, 2013
Haven't written a damn thing for ages - just sent my Flickr page to the blog. Since this thing has been a way to vent my pet peeves about the current state of photography, here's my latest. The concept of publishing straight out of the camera with no processing. When I think about this kind of thing I get the feeling that "rules" of this nature are more about attempting to create absolutes, than about the esthetics involved. Some other "absolutes": always fill the frame, no cropping allowed. If you don't shoot with a rangefinder (i.e. Leica) you're not really doing photography. Your exposure should be so spot on that no improvements are needed (no dodging, burning, and everything should just print on grade two paper). Photography, like any art form, is partly about framing the subject, and refusing to crop is simply accepting the camera manufacturers aspect ratio as a commandment, not a starting point. Rangefinders are wonderful. Leica lenses are very very very sharp. And very very very expensive. And if you want to use a long lens you have to buy an extra add on which makes your rangefinder an SLR. Again, this is having your image making dictated by camera manufacturers. The last - no dodging, burning, just a straight print from the negative on a "normal" contrast paper, is another blind alley. Whether in a wet darkroom, or on your computer, following that "rule" guarantees that 99% of your pictures are not going to come anywhere near their potential. Art has never been about "you can only paint this subject, with these colors, using this brush!" To have a tool kit as stunningly powerful as we are given by modern digital photography and refuse to use them is a bit like going into a fully equipped wood shop and only using a saw and a hammer. There are no rules. Shoot, edit, process, and let the cultists be damned.