The Art of Photography

Photography to me is capturing images of the way I see things. Light. Color. Critters. Dog expressions. That sort of thing. It’s simple stuff. But that’s what I enjoy. That’s my idea of art. Others may not find my images all that unique. Perhaps they’re not. But it’s still the way I see things. Like this purple coneflower…

Purple Coneflower Bloom (SOOC)

That bloom must be six inches across. The flower itself is like four feet high. The size impressed me. So I wanted a shot where the bloom filled the screen. I love the color, too.

Once I saw the image on the screen, I decided to tweak it a bit. Subtly at first.

Purple Coneflower Bloom (darkened edges)

All I did was darken the edges a bit. Maybe you can’t even tell a difference?

Then I decided to add some texture. I’ve seen people do some really cool stuff with texture. It takes practice. It’s yet another thing I don’t have the time I need to invest to master.

Purple Coneflower Bloom (with texture)

The result isn’t all that great. I told you, I need more practice. That’s not the point I’m trying to get at though. What I’m trying to say is that photography can also be about image manipulation. Post-processing (doing things to an image after it comes out of the camera) is one method. Creative scene making is another method.

I don’t even know if that’s how you’d describe what’s being done here. But I just had to share this bit of image manipulation/scene making/staging I stumbled across today that I absolutely LOVED.

This image speaks volumes to me.

Dear Photograph, Thank you for everything we had. @jonathanstampf

It is one of many intriguing images from a blog called Dear Photograph, a new site where folks take photos of old images in the same present-day location. It’s hard to explain. This Happy News article does a much better job.

Here’s another example.

Dear Photograph. We had nothing, but you gave me everything. Thank you for your never ending love. I love you Dad. @okfollowheather


The first Dear Photograph image I shared doesn’t need a caption. In my opinion. It’s clear who the subject is in that one.

The second one does need a caption. I can’t tell just by looking who is speaking, although now that I look again, the green nail polish would have been a giveaway.

Mastering image manipulation software and having an eye for what changes to make are one thing.

This sort of image making takes real thought. Not only that, it’s way more powerful. Maybe because the subjects are people instead of flowers?

Kudos to the people who thought this one up and to the submitters who have done such a great job carrying the idea forward.

Here’s one more image that doesn’t need a caption. It speaks loud and clear all by itself.

If you’ve got some free time, have a look at Dear Photograph. Do some of those images really move you? Or does it feel like cheap, photographic trickery?

3 Replies to “The Art of Photography”

  1. I think they’re totally moving. The juxtaposition of the old and the new is really powerful and sends such a message. The really interesting thing is in each photograph it’s not even the SAME message. Each one evokes its own story.

    I’m all for owning your art, in whatever form you make it. There’s so much copying going on, it’s really great when someone just does their own thing, regardless of others’ opinions. (And I’m no good with textures either!)

  2. What a cool idea. Of course, it sounds gimmicky but, in the right hands, the technique can be moving and even art. I like the concept. And I like your opening explanation on how you approach photography.

  3. I don’t have time right this second, but I’m gonna have to go look at that site. It sounds pretty interesting. And since I’m not taking a whole lot of pictures these days, maybe it will inspire me to pick up the camera again.

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