Honesty in the form of well executed, cleverly composed and beautifully lit images that capture a moment in time and speak to the viewer at the most fundamental level. To me this type of image is the ‘real deal’. After all, it was the clever and compelling work of the masters of 20th century photography, and chasing the holy grail of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s ‘moment decisif” or the challenge of mastering Ansel Adam’s ‘zone system’, that got me so excited about this medium in the first place.
real in the sense that it can engage the viewer by being challenging, intriguing, funny, sad, beautiful or ugly as opposed to leaving them wondering which plug-ins, or whose filters, were used and how many layers were involved. Photography that is essentially imperfect, but imperfect in a uniquely human way that gives it an unquestionable authenticity. Doc’s images in this issue (feature starts on page 50) are sterling examples of what I’m rabbiting on about, authenticity in spades.
Admittedly that was a few years ago, long before industry association award extravaganzas were unkindly dubbed ‘The Photoshop Awards’ by the cynical, and before removing unwanted elements, flipping, rotating, compositing and even the replacement of entire heads (when expressions weren’t to one’s liking) became the norm. Hell, you actually have to read warnings and disclaimers attached to some pseudo-press images these days!
I guess what I’m saying is that it’s time to get real, and that’ll be my challenge to self when work slows down towards year’s end and my thoughts turn to personal work.
Blow this off as the rantings of an old man if you will, but I think it’s high time ‘real’ photography came back in to vogue.
I’m going to try very hard to practice what I’ve just preached but I know it won’t be easy as every time an image is even momentarily opened on my computer the temptation to mess with it is all but impossible to resist.
Real in the sense of being unadulterated, real in the sense of being clever and compelling and
f11 for PHOTOGRAPHERS AND AFICIONADOS