Monday, April 29, 2013

Fad? Trend? Or Just a Mess.

"Waiting for You" - photograph by Terry Rowe
--> Someone recently had a comment about photography that gave me a nudge. They said, in reference to photography, "textures are a fad." They could have easily been referring to bell-bottoms or hybrid cars. Bell-bottom pants are a fad; fads come and go--sometimes in favor, sometimes not. Hybrid cars, I believe, started out as a fad that became a trend--more and more people are recognizing the economic value, as well as the environmental value, in choosing and driving a hybrid vehicle.

Photography, since it's inception as an art form (and some may still argue it's not art), has had controversies.

Some people will argue that photographs should be pure, untouched from capture to print. Ansel Adams is often touted as a prime example of a "pure" photographer--and yet, he spent hours in the darkroom, adding and subtracting light and dark, processing his photographs to his vision.

The very act of photographing anything changes it from the "real."

There are some people who claim that black and white photography is just a "trick," and that all photographs should be in color.

High dynamic range, HDR, has alternately been praised and blasted. HDR images can more accurately represent the range of colors and light in an image, but it can also be intense. The intensity of HDR images is what some people love and what others say is "unreal."

Adding textures to images in post-processing is another technique being embraced by photographers, many like the added dimensions; others decry varied texture processing techniques as a "fad" or a "trick." Sound familiar?

Many photographers are artists - taking the photograph, capturing the image, has become only half of the process of creating art. The second half of the art making is in the processing of the photograph--this can take hours of work, decisions, trial and error. The ultimate goal is a full expression of the artistic vision that began with the initial photographic image.

Maybe photographer-artists need a new name, something akin to painter or potter or sculptor. For now, I am an artist who uses photography and digital processing to create my art.

The picture above, "Waiting for You," is black and white, with texture added.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Cherry Season

Cherry Blossom Memories
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC is winding down. The 3,000+ trees that reached peak bloom this week are dropping their petals, and yes other cherry trees and spring blooms are starting to get their dress on but the massive swath of color and bloom is wrapping up.

Peak cherry bloom is kind of a frenzied time, particularly for photographers--you know you only have a day or two to catch the trees in all their glory. And you also know it will be you and several thousand other photographers, tourists, and sight-seers trying to do the same thing. Mother Nature is often capricious, but somehow she seems to be the most so at spring time. This year we had days and days of cool, even cold, weather that kept pushing the peak bloom time further out, delaying the glory. Then, boom, heat, 80-90 degree days. The cherry blossoms popped and it was game on!

I took many photos of the trees and blossoms. This one with the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial in the background was featured on the NBC Washington photo blossom page. This photograph sums up this cherry season for me.