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4/24/12

In The Raw

Or do you sleep in the nude?...

Desert Rose among thorns.

The image I posted prior to this post at midnight today was also posted on Google+ and I was asked by someone who viewed the photo on my Google+ stream if I would mind posting the original photo. I'm not sure why fiona munday is interested in seeing the original but I agreed to do so for several reasons.

My photography and this blog have evolved to where the images are no longer SOOC (straight out of camera) or slightly edited. Rather they've become something else, Visual Art that has been edited or "processed" to either retain the essence of the original image or alter it into something entirely different. The artwork produced is not pure photography and it is not a painting or drawing or some other visual medium since it was not created directly onto canvas, paper or something else. It is digital and resides in a file on a computer until reproduced through some printing process. I consider this no different than creating a painting, drawing or some other visual art by using a photograph as guide or by projection. It is taking an original photograph and turning it into something visually appealing whether it is an enhanced recognizable version of the original or artwork that is completely different.

This is a topic of controversy among some photographers who are purists and I choose not to wade into what is "real" photography and genuine photographs. It seems specious to me since every photograph has been altered in some way depending on what camera you're using and if you're using special lens somehow it's changing what is "real." In any case I haven't thought of myself as a photographer since I used a 35mm film Hanimax Praktika camera in the seventies and eighties. Along with being a writer I consider myself a visual artist that creates images. I also don't think any photographer, painter, sculptor or artist of any kind is under an obligation explain how they do what they do and how they arrived on a particular piece of artwork. If they choose to do so I find it interesting but I believe it is a matter of choice. Generally I don't share the originals or explain exactly how I processed a photo, very often because I don't write down step by step what I do and I don't have a standard process it is continual exploration. In a sense I think it also takes the mystery out of the piece and doesn't allow the viewer to make their own interpretation of it.

I share the original photo, taken on my Droid X 1 using the app ProHDR straight out of the camera, to show the progression from original photo to final artwork. I use primarily three editing programs and I'll leave which I used for this final piece as an enigma although an experienced pro I'm sure can figure it out. What I will say is I adjust, edit and upload on the smartphone camera as well as on a PC. A final word on the topic is that although I think every decent photograph has the opportunity to become something special through processing you still have to start with a basic decent composition. There are flaws in this one with that I can see but all anyone needs to do is read my post from May 9th of this year "Rules, There Are Rules?" to further understand my point of view about rules, flaws and creative endeavors.