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Thursday, 05 October 2017


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Mike, you should read Guy Tal's postings on his blog.
He talks a lot about how an artist (not ARTISTE') should approach his work. If one does not have to earn a living from their work, it makes even more sense.

Ha! Too real? Some of us luddites (current colloquial sense, not historically accurate sense) look at our expired Verichrome Pan shots from your neck of the woods and wonder if our spectacles got fogged 😆


I'm not sure if your question intended to correlate your observation to improvements in cameras/lenses/processing or just point out the coincidence.
I agree that we're seeing more and more unrealistic images than ever before, but I think it's through action on the part of the photographer and not tied to the quality of the gear. I think it's a combination of the ease of manipulating digital images and unfortunate trends (born out of a desire to stand out tsunami of images).
But I also think that the extreme dynamic range that cameras can capture - even in a single frame - can lead to some unreal photos. I occasionally find myself wondering if I like the look of images taken with 1" sensors (Sony RX line) precisely because the dynamic range looks "right" to my eyes. (I recall you posted something about the look of images taken with a particular m43 - Panasonic, I believe - camera). I find that on my first pass editing a photo, I often tend to pull out details in shadows in my photos just because the detail is there to be pulled out, and I have a hard time deciding on a final look.

Over many years you've trained yourself to accept a B&W low dynamic range 2 dimensional 1/60 th sec. slice of a scene as real. Now that digital photography is readily exploited as an illustration medium the look can be radically different than what you're used to. So it goes.

Some photographs are meant to be art. I'm fine with them being non-realistic. Art is about interpretations of reality and emotional responses, not about reality itself.

Some photographs are meant to be representations. If they're not realistic, they've failed. For example, I'm and architect and I want photographs of my buildings to have a "you are there" relatable reality. I want the viewer to understand how that building feels when you're in it, and unreal "arty" photographs aren't useful.

Overall, I don't find photographs to be any more or less real than before. The types of unreality may be different, but art photography is always going to be looking for new ways to see.

I think that any picture that resolves better than the human eye can ( I don’t know if that figure is out there.), will seem a little bit unreal to some part of the viewer’s brain. Oversharpening hurts my eye to look at. This, and oversaturating are traps that we all fall into from time to time.

To set a standard for me, I look at my pictures and, if they look more processed than one of Carl Weese’s blog posts, I go back and tone them down.

"High DR had banished every shadow and lighted every shaded crack and crevice. The colors were lightened and brightened to a remorseless unceasing cheerfulness."

I see a lot of that on photography forums. I click to the next photograph...

With what software can to today (eg: create your own sky) it's difficult to know what the actual scene looked like.

Yet, many argue that it's "painting a picture" just as a visual artist would do.

"The times they are a'changin."


This is something I ask myself all the time. I am probably not the best person to answer because I intensely dislike HDR photography. I have recently started shooting B/W film again because so many digital images are too perfect. I have also started shooting my Fuji cameras in JPEG only. However, what is fair to say is that there is no question in my mind whatsoever that HDR photography does not represent what you do see with your eyes. Whether that is a good or bad thing is probably a question each person has a different take on. I often find myself struggling not to say people who love and produce HDR photography only like their cameras they don't really like photography. I suppose that is dating myself, but I have yet to see an HDR photograph that moves me the way a photograph by William Eggleston or Diane Arbus or Robert Frank or Lee Friedlander's work does. I honestly think it does have something to do with the limitations of film driving the creativity. I also think there is something inherently beautiful about film that digital will never be able to replicate.

That makes me wonder what's the correlation, if any, between a photographer's interest in technical aspects of photos (i.e. sharpness, detail, HDR) and his or her interest in camera and lens specifications?

Photographs that look "real?" Or do you mean "subtle?" Reality the way our binocular, light-adaptive human vision (and other senses) perceives the world cannot be captured with a camera, or any other device save another human standing next to us. Plus, you know how individual perception is... Are staged photographs by Doiseneau or Soth any more or less "real" compared to what you saw? How about selfies? You'll bust your thinking-gears trying to resolve what could be more or less "real" about any photograph.

Now, which is more "subtle" is a different story.

The new ultra reality . It’s not what you and I are used to.

Have photographs ever been realistic?

With their compressed dynamic range, fixed depth of field, cropped angle of view, and two-dimensional presentation, they’ve never been more than an instrument to invoke a mental image that simulates the image invoked by direct observation.

Different times produce different responses from contemporary viewers. I’m sure that from the earliest days of black and white photography, the medium, whether it was albumen, daguerreotype, platinum, palladium, or gelatin-silver, required a conceptual leap, or a "suspension of disbelief" on the part of the viewer, in order to be regarded as "realistic". Today, in a world where CGI is indistinguishable from conventionally produced imagery, your hyper-processed examples are probably closer to the mainstream expectations of reality than those early photographs were to the first viewers.

Personally I dislike most HDR images because they all look the same, and rely on HDR for their impact. Without something more than *just* HDR these images pall very quickly, and are just cliches. Even worse, such an effect can overwhelm genuinely good composition or content, much like a strong flavour can overwhelm food if not used carefully. Like with strong flavours though, if used carefully to enhance rather than overwhelm then it can be used to elevate an image.

The thing is that human visual perception is capable of astonishing resolution and dynamic range, given enough processing time. In an hour's conversation across a small diner table, someone with good eyesight could catalog many many tiny details of a companion's face, adjusting for variations in lighting, to fill in a broader but ever-more-detailed perception of facial and cranial topology and geometry. So what's more "real": an image approximating an instant of that process, focusing on one detail with the rest as context or background, or an image approximating a possible sum of an hour's worth of those impressions?

Perhaps we need different approaches in order to fairly process and judge the two types of images, and the spectrum of images between, and beyond, those examples.

To my understanding, photographic technology has always influenced what we accept as "real" in photographic images, that consensus lagging a bit behind the technology itself. I suspect that the conventions that dominated during our formative years will influence our judgement as well.

For decades photographers strained to get every line of resolution, every possible nuance of highlight and shadow detail. Now that it's all available at our fingertips, it's often a matter of... restraint.

It's a self-evident truth that imaging and repro technologies - which include cameras and lenses - have become orders of magnitude more capable and accurate than their chemical-era ancestors at capturing accurate depictions of scenes.

But to define "realism" is to wander into sensory perceptions. Here, too, digital imaging technologies are indisputably unsurpassed in their abilities to trick your brain in various ways. But your version of "real" might not always coincide with mine.

A related aside: a few months ago the street in front of my home was closed for part of a Sunday to allow a segment of a car ad to be filmed here. According to a crew member, filming live cars for ads is becoming a rare act, as cars are now usually added digitally to scenes to optimize "realism".

I see quite a few photographs that seem to have been made because they could. Some new combination of gizmos or software that permit the creation of an image were used because someone wanted to try them out. Personally I am not often touched by works like that, but others might. I am no authority.

It reminds of a local FM radio station in Montreal that had one of those ultra-hip DJs (with a classy British accent, no less) who was always looking for something "new" in music. He would dismiss some new release because nothing "new" was present in the music, just good playing, harmonies and lyrics, nothing "really" new though. Too pretentious by half, I thought.

Is "new" good? Sometimes it is, I guess, but sometimes it's not even interesting. How often do people have a clear idea of what they're trying to convey that requires a "new" technique to uncover that they deliberately decide to use?

Are those images more or less real, you ask. We compare these new images to old ones we already know, so we have prior knowledge of a certain kind. Is that comparison fair? Would a 20 year old, who is not familiar with old(er) images, react differently?

There are probably lots of old images that aren't that real, maybe we've just forgotten them. I can say that some of the classic images from the past that are widely proclaimed to be masterpieces do nothing for me. How do you empty your mind of prior knowledge in order to be objective. Beats me.

All art is an exploration of the human spirit, and as anyone who likes, say, fiction prose will tell you, sometimes you get at that subject best by making up stuff. You might then ask if a work is really "unreal".

Maybe a good further question might be about whether or not there are any patterns to the unreal work that's being done. New schools being born?

I'm don't know whether or not today's photographers are any more willing to challenge the canons than those of the past. Today's tech has given us our own set of new capabilities, and also we're able to see easliy a much wider range of work than earlier generations were able to.

I couldn't agree more. Perhaps its a generation thing? When I turn to Flikr in the hope of seeing what images produced by a particular camera or lens might look like, more often than not I find myself reeling after scrolling through the first page or so.

I've recently been thinking much the same thing, which makes me wonder if this is a case of great minds thinking alike or fools never differing?

Either way, I have recently put away my Sigma Art lenses in favor of a trio of vintage Contax / Yashica lenses.

Not only are they smaller, lighter, and less expensive -- I paid less for all three than I did for any one of my three Sigmas -- but I love the classic "Zeiss look" and also how they make my digital photos look a little bit more film-like.

Surprisingly, they even project image circles large enough to allow for adequate amounts of rise/fall/shift movements when used with my Cambo Actus and/or FrankenKameras.

Perhaps you can recreate the effects you're describing in purpose made photos for illustration?


When we are given new possibilities by our technology we have to push the boundaries of taste in order to find where those boundaries are. Hopefully in time people will learn to use the new technology to create wonderful pictures that also exhibit good taste.

You just touched on a subject I've been thinking about for several years now, at least in relation to my own photographic activities. Ignoring the deeply profound question of what is real, I think that, in general, photography is trending toward being less "real", whatever that is. We have readily available image processing technology for our computers (regardless of size - from desktop to "phone") that allows both the casual user to easily spiff up their images and the serious practitioner to produce compelling works of art. And they are all (for the most part) doing it. The deal the f/64 photographers made with the Art World (TM) is dissolving. Photographs no longer have to be "real" to be taken seriously, to be entertaining, or even to be true.
I know you know enough art history to see the obvious parallel. When did painting and sculpture stop having to be "real"? And what was the reaction of the Art World (TM) to the trend.
To me (and I suspect to a lot of people) the term "photograph" implies an image with a strong fidelity to what is "real." I've stopped telling people I produce photographs. Digital technology allows me to produce photo-images (or photo-impressions.) FWIW, my artistic heroes are William Turner and James McNeill Whistler.

richard hargrove
I'm not saying don't believe what you see in my images; I'm saying don't believe what you see in anyone's images.

It has become technically trivial for amateurs a.k.a. naïve practitioners to use a small sensor camera on a cell phone for instance to get very realistic images with wide total range and lots of depth of field which is pretty much what the human eye ( combined with the human brain of course ) sees.

Now all the expensive cameras , software, and certainly lenses are sold on the proposition that the images will look LESS realistic. Big sensors, fast lenses, all to signify "hey big expensive camera here - that's why this looks weird!"

Personally this really sucks since I've spent 30 or 49 years working on unfashionably calling attention to the artifice of photographic representation, and taking pictures of my breakfast with big cameras.

A particular unrealistic or unnatural feature of digital photography, is the continued 'drawing' in colours in almost total darkness, where we ourselves would only perceive differences in luminosity (that is, black and white).

Having been trained as a painter first (along with drawing, non-photographic printmaking, sculpture, and the like...) I have never ever considered images more or less "real" except as themselves, as images, as objects unto themselves.

I think a key problem of photography is that the way it captures images of the world with a certain verisimilitude a priori gives "photographers" some kind of false sense that "reality" has been "captured" or "frozen". Photographs are their own reality, just like images made by other means.

Ouch! Not touching this one. Maybe if you work out how to unthink it you can let me know. All comes down to where are we headed and why I guess. Humanity has a history of not looking ahead well, nor looking back, just plowing forward toward a relatively short term goal, then on the the next, consequences be damned. Asking why or how can be just asking for trouble. Grumble.....

Why would "not looking real" be a negative?

Aren't there cherished masterworks by Kertesz, Brandt, Man Ray, and others that didn't look real 80 years ago?

Surely there are wonderful HDR - cellphone - Lomography photos out there waiting to be scrolled down to.

My take on this is that a photograph never looks "real", be it film or digital, regardless of processing. For example, the brightness range of an outdoor scene is compressed from 20 stops+ to 5 stops of possible reproduction in a print. Or consider black and white photography, which removes color information.

We are, however, conditioned to accept a certain style of reproduction as "true". I believe that despite lacking color information, black and white pictures are accepted as "true", since they were used by photojournalists for decades.

Regarding my own work, I try not to overprocess photographs. The reason is that for me, the fascinating thing about photography is that it is credible as in "look, this is how it looks like" - but on the other hand, photographs are totally subjective in regards to what's in the frame and when the shutter was triggered. But of course, this is only my opinion.

At the risk of being too didactic - there is no such thing as realism in photography. Human vision is binocular, our eyes never stop moving, we have a small sharp area in the centre of our vision and a large, low resolution area around that, and an area of monochromatic vision beyond that we are rarely aware of, and peripheral vision that only detects motion. The edge of our vision is soft and approximately oval-shaped, and the human eye has a greater dynamic range than a display screen or a print can provide. The camera and the photograph offer radically a different visual experience in very many ways to our 'natural' vision.

So, photography can't be about realism, in a literal sense. However, I am very interested in photographs that are somehow about the experience of seeing, and in my very modest way I try to achieve that in my own work, at least some of the time. One of the tests I often apply to my own work and that of others is - do I believe in the light? That's important to me, in most photographs (though not all). I appreciate that it's a test that may be irrelevant for other people - it depends on what you want from a picture. From your response to the two photographs you described, it sounds like it matters to you too, Mike.

One of the beauties of ART is the ability to imagine the unimaginable and the impossible. The problem for me is when the unimaginable and the impossible attempt to simulate reality. Its one thing to take a recognizable scene and imagine it in a way we would never see it. Where it falls down for me is when it is neither real nor unreal, but somewhere in the foggy grey zone of some sort of pseudo non reality ,,, like the words from a Leonard Cohen song ... "is it real but not really there, or is it there but not really real"(para). The uncontrollable urge to play with the sliders can lead down some very strange rabbit holes.

Every new technology gets abused until people understand it's potential contribution and it's limits . then things settle down until the next wave comes. In some cases it changes our aesthetic view, in other cases it becomes a passing fad.
Take 'Sharpness', with all the advancements in Lens technology, 50 & 100 MP sensors , high ISO (no camera shake) and post processing sharpening, for better or worse, I doubt we will ever look at sharpness the way we traditionally have. Content will always be most important, but sharpness will be taken for granted, rather than being a' bourgeois concept'
Or maybe it will spawn a new pictorial age, but I wouldn't bet too much on that.
We have already seen a bit of that with Petzval revivals and lens babies, but in general, for better or worse, things are trending 'sharper'.

Is anyone reading this regularly making pictures that are less sharp than when you shot film? Our eyes & brain have a new baseline for sharpness.
To some degree it is true of saturation as well--- everyone hates overdone HDR but most pictures we see are more vibrant than with film ( with a few exceptions like the late Pete Turner)
This is not a judgement , just an observation

If anything, I'd say photography is capable of becoming less 'real', and is a continuation of people using the technology to do something different, that hasn't been done before, in order to stand out. Think impressionism, surrealism, modernism etc etc etc isms.
For example, as humans we've never been able to 'see' star trails, silky smooth water falls or waves, time lapse etc.
Having stated that, I find that some of these new directions I enjoy while others leave me cold. This is probably just another take on the story of humans over the ages :)

This is why documentary images, forensic photography and general legal evidence use of photos today depends so much on proving provenance -the history of taking, posessing, and modifying the image. "Photoshopping" an image is relatively simple, and can totally change the content and meaning of the image.


It's interesting that the thought crossed your mind yesterday - on Wednesday, on another personal photography blog I follow (https://photographsbypeter.com/blog/), I posted a comment that ruminated on the same topic, though it happened to be as part of a discussion of the Leica M9, the importance of an optical viewfinder and the benefits of the limitations of CCD imaging, and why perhaps those limitations better fits the needs of photographers looking to capture photographs that have a bit more humanity in them.

I'm recopying the full comment here (apologies for the length), as I think it touches on some of the same issues you've pointed out in your post, but from a somewhat different perspective:


“I agree with you that for the majority of “shooters” the EVF is the future, but for the majority of “makers”, the OVF and/or rangefinder will continue to be critical to the experience.

My firm realisation was simply that we’ve reached a point where “better” in terms of specifications (megapixels, dynamic range, “what I see in the viewfinder is what I get in the viewfinder, etc.”) is not necessarily better for meaningful and impactful composition. And conceptually, when you step back a bit from the marketing speak of “live view”, it sounds asinine – what’s more “live view” than, in fact, looking at a direct view of reality? I was never aware that TV was more real and live than what my eyes see.

In many ways, philosophically, and given the amazing latitude that modern sensors give and that allowed in post-processing, I don’t understand the photographer’s focus on wanting to pre-determine all output variables before the shot. I understand focus (easiest with manual focus and distance scales even at 1.4, without an obsession for tack sharpness), but why on exposure, color processing, “effects”, image ratio, etc? All of this simply adds to the complexity up front, when the photographer’s focus should be on subject and composition.

I truly believe that for all the advances in technology, now that the pace and goals of camera development have been largely driven by electronics companies (Sony) as opposed to photography companies (Nikon, Canon, Olympus), images may be technically “better” (or more impressively outpacing what the average naked eye can see), but with no more artistic merit than before, and perhaps, on average, less.

A couple years ago on Peter’s site, I posted a comment about the increasing divide in digital photography between human perception of the scene and digital perception of the scene, and it’s impact on creating images that have humanity in them (and not just “impressiveness”). I’m still thinking through those issues, and I’m sure there’s a longer article somewhere in there waiting to be written.

In the industry’s relentless march to continually make more “capable” tools with higher ISO abilities, it has created a larger gap between how the eye and mind perceives a scene in terms of light and how the tool is capable of seeing the scene.

I’ve always believed that a lot of the CCD vs CMOS debate was actually an acknowledgement of the dissonance of the camera not seeing like the eye sees. The M9 with a 35mm Summilux basically tolerated light like the human eye – during the magic hour, the photographer’s ability to see the scene and the camera’s ability to see the scene were synchronised; most all CCDs when paired with a fast lens were tuned in a way to more or less match the film range, which more or less matched the capability of human vision.
As ISOs go through the roof, suddenly the camera sees more than the eye, or to take it to an extreme, the camera viewfinder can create all the aesthetic parameters of the work of art that the photographer wants before the photographer even takes the photo. But is this what we really want and need to develop our “eye” and create a visual memory of our lives in our minds and not just on the screen/paper?

It’s the same story with “creative” points of view allowable with tilt screens, phone remote apps, and, of course, drones. All “impressive” capabilities that allow “new” images from points of view that people haven’t necessarily seen before, but how many of these images have any real merit as compositions with a valuable message or story once the freshness wilts? And does the birds eye view really allow us to develop a better understanding of how to have successful human interaction, which frankly our planet could use more of to get us out of the current mess that we’re in?

OK maybe I’m reaching a little there – but the issues are fundamental. It’s why to me despite the Leica S not “keeping up” with the technology cycle, I still am incredibly tempted by the S006, because of its absolutely brilliant split prism viewfinder screen, no live view, no video, and a wonderful sensor, processing engine and lenses (particularly the 70mm). It’s an M9 for the SLR set. Too big for my type of photography, ans call me old school, but I’m constantly wowed by that viewfinder.

I don’t want to be as coy or as blatantly European as saying it’s all about Das W, but Leica in their own way has a real point, once you cut through the marketing babble.

As I’ve said before, to each his own. The M9 has been the only camera in my 30 year career that I can truly say has made me a better photographer, and that I enjoy picking up like no other. The images aren’t as sharp, and the highlights not as smooth, and the composition not as perfect, but every time I’m at least damn sure that it’s identical to what my eyes saw and what my mind remembers, which is invaluable."


Best Regards,


"she is very small, and flat"

I say neither. And both.

The question of realism in the photographs themselves is ultimately not that interesting to me. The more interesting question is what the photographer was after and whether she succeeded.

Black and white images might be a pure beauty but really this is just another filter now. One of the best of them but still a filter coming from preferring aesthetics over realism.

But reality is in color for most of us.
And realism of good color photographs is exactly why I came to prefer color photography in general.

Since I've taken up oil painting in addition to photography, I see this question a bit differently. Prior to the mid 1800s, paintings were basically how people experienced places they'd never visited. Representational painting involved ever more accurate and faithful representations of real world scenes (and people) in paint, right down to a specific time of day and the effects of natural light.
The advent of photography knocked painting sideways, leading to lots of 'ism's' and movements to differentiate it from photos. But there's still a branch of painting (representational is the usual term) devoted to painting an image that looks and feels like the subject.
Now that technical advances have made the mechanics of adequate photographic capture almost effortless, we're seeing lots of 'ism's' here too. The hyper-saturated, HDR'd, over-sharpened look is everywhere now. To my eye it's just a further extrapolation of the look Fuji Velvia slide film used to produce. But photography is a huge tent; we also have subtle zen long exposure black and white images like Michael Kenna's or Michael Levin's. There's plenty of deadpan realist color landscapes like those of Jeff Brouws, Stephen Shore et al. Or crazy dramatic black and white like Mitch Dobrowner's.
I think the current fad for crunchy saturated HDR images is just that, like overcooked digital effects in movies. Eventually such effects will find their (hopefully) small niche in the photographers' toolkit.

These are the articles I enjoy most. Discussing art and the people that create it. My GAS is in remission so I skim the hardware articles just to stay somewhat abreast of what is happening. It is relatively easy to criticize equipment and the faceless corporation that produced it. Art is so subjective and personal any criticism of the art can also be perceived as a criticism of the artist and his/her supporters.
On this topic. My personal tastes. I like my art/photos to be engaging and subtle, have depth and texture. Something I can walk by and look at again over the years. The high gloss, high contrast, high saturation (seen in many contemporary galleries) is fun just once. To me, if it was hanging in a home it would be constantly screaming "LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME!!" It wouldn't accent or compliment a space, it would dominate that space.
So, I try to go for that depth and texture in my photos.
Oh, and black shadows. Done well they act as framing devices.

There's a lot of that "escape from reality" stuff going on these days. Why should photography be exempt?
Personally, my psychedelic days are far behind me. I'll take a pass.

Monochrome images are highly artificial abstracts of the visual images we see.

Grain and noise are technical failures of the imaging device/system.

Shallow DoF is an artifact of our imaging systems, not how we actually "see" 3D things.

Many photographers decry the loss of these inaccuracies.

Perhaps the kind of images you describe depart from "reality" in different ways than the above. Deciding which is more real is more a matter of taste than anything measurable.

My personal take is that yes, my "straight" images and those of many others with contemporary equipment and software are truer to the original subjects than before.

It seems to me that this distinction is also in a sense a matter of taste. If Picasso tells something about at least some of his subjects that some people find to be "truth", then literal accuracy of reproduction is not particularly important.

Some people find my abstract images to contain something important, something that moves them, even though the original subject is often unknowable.

I'm a bit late on the party but I'll try to stay brief : a picture is not reality, period. What makes it work, makes it emulate some reality, are some conventions and a tad of collective unconscious, that helps us realize this 'graphic word' means this or that.
Take the 'HDR look', eg : if you squint hard enough, you may realize we see a bit that way, too ; it was shocking when it appeared a dozen years ago, but now it's more widely accepted.

Depends on how you answer the question: is photography art? Seems to me much confusion/hand-wringing etc. arise from (justifiable) self-doubt in the face of this question. Fwiw, Sontag's essays are still the most complete treatment on the subject, imo.

Flickr is notorious for its weird sorting algorithm. The odd stuff always comes on top in searches and "Explore": The pictures with a limited palette of extremely saturated color, deep blacks. At some point users may start imitating this style to get exposure. Not sure about any of the walled gardens (Facebook, Instagram). Intellectually less real by design, I think.

More and more of what's out there seems so hyper-real to me. Massive detail. Crazy HDR. Colours way (over)saturated. It grabs the attention but I find myself pulled in the opposite direction more and more - abstract, impressions, etc.

The right approach is to use the technique that best serves the aim of the picture. When the technique takes over, it's probably because the photographer had nothing to say. When that happens, it's better to put the camera away for a while.

Would it be too controversial of me to ask, where does "Precipitation" fit on the 'more or less real' scale? My first thought is that it sits pretty low.

I’m traveling so a bit late to this discussion. Very thought provoking post and insightful comments. I have to say though that for me the present fascination/obsession with an exaggerated amped up photographic style used to represent actual, as opposed to abstract, scenes started with the introduction of Velvia decades ago. Think Sierra Club calendar. This permanently shifted our view of what constitutes a “beautiful” photograph of the natural world. If you doubt this show a friend two images of a nature/landscape scene—one rendered with color that closely matches what the eye saw in nature, and one with the saturation and contrast turned up to emulate a Velvia look, and ask them which they like better. The vast majority of the time they will choose the second image. By now our brains have been trained to think that photographs presented in this way are “better”. Velvia is Nature on steroids. The current HDR hyper-adjusted photographic fashion is just Velvia on steroids.

I am one of those who prefer the look of my older photos done in B&W and on film. Moving to digital I haven't been able to recreate the same sort of images and have moved to color and I do feel like my images look more 'real' these days as a consequence. However, too much photoshop still just turns my personal interest straight off.

A day after reading this, I was browsing through the LensCulture site (which I believe was recommended by another reader in response to another of your posts) and found an article about Isamu Sawa's focus stacked images of flowers shot in less than their prime. While this sort of detached hyper crisp photography usually gets me clicking in search of something else, I have to say I found the over baked crispness of it all quite appropriate and actually found myself not in a rush to click away for once.


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