In this post I decided to share multiple approaches I took to process the same original image, flexing the creative muscles I've been tuning in the digital processing gym. These variations on a theme serve to underscore how 'subjectivity' can easily supplant the 'objectivity' once considered by some to be photography's supreme virtue and and by others to be its major artistic limitation.
I was out shooting on a cold winter afternoon and became intrigued by the complex pattern of interwoven oak branches seen against the flat, blue-gray sky. My original intent in capturing this image was to create a very graphic image highlighting the rich network of irregular pattern of the branches. My intent was to create an abstract more than an image of tree branches per se. I am a sucker for patterns.
This first image represents the image directly out of the camera, without the benefit of any processing adjustments.
|1. Directly from camera|
|Fig. 2 'Pre-visioned' graphic image|
|Fig. 3 Cold and frosty|
|Fig. 4 Pencil sketch|
|Fig. 4 Fanciful interpretation|
|Fig. 5 Moonlight|
I liked how the moonlight mood worked with the otherwise flat, uninteresting sky of the original. How about making it interesting by substituting a sunset fell (Fig. 6)?
|Fig. 6 Colorful sunset|
Interesting, no? How about reaching for the stars (Fig. 7)?
|Fig. 7 Milky Way|
So there you have it. Seven variations on a theme.
As photographers we have a responsibility to exercise our craft creatively, yet responsibly. As viewers of photography we all have a responsibility to appreciate the intent of the artist but also need to recognize the latitude available in the artist's palette and to not blindly acquiesce to any photographic 'reality'.
More on this in future posts.