It’s been a while since I was on Talacre, it’s my outdoor goto place when I want to try out any photographic techniques or new gear for that matter. So Saturday night, whilst my wife is watching football (soccer for my American readers), I took the new Olympus to the beach for my first test of HDR during sunsets. I’ve been to this beach loads of times and shot off hundreds of photographs of the lighthouse from all sorts of angles and times of the day.
Of all the means of expression, photography is the only one that fixes a precise moment in time. We play with subjects that disappear; and when they’re gone, it’s impossible to bring them back to life. We can’t alter our subject afterward…. Writers can reflect before they put words on paper…. As photographers, we don’t have the luxury of this reflective time….We can’t redo our shoot once we’re back at the hotel. Our job consists of observing reality with help of our camera (which serves as a kind of sketchbook), of fixing reality in a moment, but not manipulating it, neither during the shoot nor in the darkroom later on. These types of manipulation are always noticed by anyone with a good eye. – Henri Cartier-Bresson
Now Henry was probably right at the time but in todays modern digital age, photo manipulation is all too easy. There’s someone in your shot, clone them out, only takes seconds. Forgot to clean your lens or dust on your sensor, leaving spots in the sky. That’s easy, use the Spot Removal Tool. Likewise you can boost colours, a little bit more red, a touch of purple, get that orange a little darker. All can serve to enhance a photographic or if you overdo it make it look terrible.
But what about composition? Once you hit that shutter button, that’s it. The moment is fixed in time. The clouds are where they are, as is the lighthouse. All that is left is the crop tool to allow better framing of the subject, which some will argue, you should be doing before pressing the shutter. Talking of composition. What do you think of the way I have framed the lighthouse against the sky? I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to leave a comment.
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