<<< o >>>along the shore 59 comments + add yours

First of all, thanks for all the positive comments on yesterday's shot; it's one of my recent favourites too :-)

Second, there were a number of interesting points that came up during the discussion, some of which I'll pick up over the next couple of days, but I thought I'd start with one raised by John (not John Washington I should add) who said:

"Looking through many of the images on this site, it becomes apparent that many many hours have been spent in the digital darkroom post-processing. They then start to loose the basic principles of what photography is all about - recording an image."

Right, here's my question, or point: and I don't want to get into the 'is it photography, is it digital art' question – i) because I don't think it matters, and ii) because the debate never goes anywhere (other than round in circles) – rather, I have a different question ... why is it that some people seem so insistent that photography must be about "recording an image" and nothing more? To me this is such a nonsensical position to adopt that I can't even begin to understand why someone would make this claim. It's like saying that all paintings should be impressionistic, or that sculpters should only produce lifelike figures, or any number of other "you should be doing this and not that" comments. How is it that people end up coming out with claims, that to me at least, seem totally indefensible?

As for this image (taken five minutes before yesterday's one): it's not as impressive as yesterday's, by quite some margin, but it does capture something of a Sunday morning's stroll along the shore.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
10.49am on 26/3/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
17mm (27mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
1x1 + piers [Central pier] + fylde coast [scenic] + people
comment by ps at 08:55 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Well, so many comment on yesterday's shot... good work :D

comment by Matt at 09:20 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Well, i couldn't care less. It's your site David, put up what you like. I for one just enjoy photography whether it's been "shopped" or not.

But, on the very point, did anyone have a go at Turner for his landscapes, regardless of the fact they actually convey little of what he was actually seeing? I bet they did, but I'm glad he took no notice as he produced some of the finest works of art in the world.

People only make such negative comments (if they don't actually like it, fair enough), I suspect, borne out of some jealousy that their images don't match up to your work. I know Photoshop inside out but my images never, ever come close to your work yet.

I don't want to look too sycophantic but there must be a reason for you being so popular. All I can say is, if people don't like photoshopped images, they shouldn't come here.

comment by Nick at 09:26 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Photography for me is the craft of creating images that represent, at its best, 2 things: what the photographer sees, and what the photographer wants us to see. Sometimes these coincide, sometimes not. Sometimes there's a story there like that shot of yours on the cliff at Dalian, sometimes the story is quieter.

Simply recording a scene - its so much more than that!

Today the story's the thing; yesterday we were seeing the coast through your eyes. Always inspiring!

comment by Brett Admire at 09:27 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I agree.... personally If it's stimulating then go with it.. i mean tell picaso to paint portraits to scale because humans arn't distorted..

Great image.. I just love the way you post-process ..

comment by sistereden at 09:27 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I would say it's an unusual shot for you. A little blurry, it does not impress, it's just familiar. It's nice too.

comment by Gavin at 09:32 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

It's a good point. All photography is, by definition, interpretive. The moment you focus light waves through a lens you're seeing an alternative version of the scene. Different focal lengths alter the perspective, apertures change the depth-of-field, different film stocks record colours differently, no two digital sensors record light in exactly the same way. In addition, no two people see a scene the same way. Our eyes are as unique as our fingerprints so "reality" to one person will appear quite different to another.

Focussing light, projecting light through an enlarger lens, dodging, burning, different chemicals, papers, temperatures, times, digital post-processing, curves, hues, colour profiles, monitors - they're all tools by which we show our interpretation of what we think we saw, or of what we want people to see. Perhaps all that matters is that the effects of the tools are understood, used well and appreciated by the viewer... Enter Chromasia?

Perhaps the question should be turned on the "purist" and they should be asked what methods should be employed to create an entirely, 100% accurate reproduction of a scene?

Oops,just remembered, this is a comment box not an essay paper. ;o)

comment by Ryan at 09:47 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

David, I love your work and check your blog daily. I am just beginning one of my own as well, but that's not why I am commenting. Poeple that only regard photography as capturing an image, I think, are simply afraid of the computer. Photoshop is hardly the first tool ever used to manipulate an image. Sure a lot of digital crap can be, and is produced when Photoshop is used by someone who relies only on the program's abilities and not his or her own, but the same can be said of a paintbrush.

Being a photographer, and in that respect an artist, is about seeing the world in a certain way, somehow capturing and creating that vision in a form that can be presented to others. It's not about setting up a view camera and waiting 10 minutes for an exposure. Sure that is one form of photography, but not the only one and certainly not a more respectable approach.

I say do what you need to do to create the image you want to create. The world loves Ansel Adams, who spent far more time in the darkroom than actually behind the lens. So what's the difference? My hand moves the mouse to dodge and burn my photo the same way his did.

Rock on man.

comment by Tom from (Lucerne Times) at 09:53 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I am a pianist. We have some similar discussions between us, musicians. We have a piece of music and people tend to say: you should play it like that, or like that. "This is not Mozart, you can't play it like that".

For me it's very similar. Every musician is an interpreter with his own thoughts and soul and he plays the same Mozart piece as he likes.

A photographer is a interpreter of the reality. He sees things the way he wants to see them and he presents them in his photographs the way he wants to present them.

Diversity. Without it everything would be so boring...

Beautiful photograph,David.

comment by mark at 10:00 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Hmm....not sure I have the energy to continue with this Dave. Suffice to say that I agree with you entirely. One point I failed to mention yesterday - but that did get touched on by others - was that it's not about photography or 'digital art' is it. I don't seem to hear people referring to famous (and not so famous) pieces of art as 'painted art', or 'sculpted art', etc...there is no differentiation at the chalk face level...it's simply art.

Like I said yesterday, there's an exclusivity element, a snobbishness even, prevalent in what we do - as there is in pretty much any field to be fair - is it borne out of a fear of technology that cannot be handled by those that then seek to smack it down? Perhaps..in some cases perhaps not.

One thing I do know is that I am constantly striving to improve my art and this site, along with others, is a beautifully accessible source of inspiration...now isn't THAT what it's all about?

As for the image....I think it's a little flat ;-) hehehehe...

comment by EssPea Photography at 10:11 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

This new image is definitly not on the same scale as yesterdays, but it still has a great feel to it.

I agree with you as well, photography is subjective and as long as you are making pictures with yourself and your vision in mind, keep on truckin'.

comment by Kevin at 10:18 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Great shot, I love the tones that are almost identical along the sand and sky. Great point in your argument, whenever I have the same argument with fellow friends and photographers its always the same. I just dont see the best deal in bringing out the best image posible.

comment by John Washington at 10:20 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Fantastic comments on this picture and I second all of them. The photo isn't bad either.

I don't think Adobe will ever be in danger of people protesting about the tools they provide for us all to realise our vision.

Photography can be many things to many people. To me it is a combination of everything. If I want to lean towards an artistic presentation I will. If I want to simply document something I will do that as well.

I suspect that most people feel the same way.

If it wasn't the case then Lazlo Moholy-Nagi wouldn't still be so popular. He was a founder member of the Bauhaus and some of his photographic experiments make chromasia seem positively tame.

I often wonder what artists like Man Ray or Moholy-Nagi would have done with the available technology we have today.

They were radical with the technology then, so I suspect they would have produced some mind bending work which would have caused much controversy

comment by Napalm at 10:29 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Ansel Adams used to spend days messing about with one print. People moaning about over processing of images that are worked on need to do a bit of research before they mouth off. A lot of it's still the same techniques it's just now it's digital seem to think it's wrong. The same people were no doubt crying about digital cameras a couple of years back being wrong, and are now the very people fueling the digital slr frenzy.

I personally thought yesterdays image was stunning. There is a difference between processing and sticking a moon in a photo. Some day people will realise this.

comment by Lawrence at 10:31 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Wonderful photo (or work or art).
I think John said it very well:Photography can be many things to many people.".
One thing I think we all agree on is that we enjoy viewing and sharing our craft, whatever it is you want to call it.

comment by Matt Greco at 10:38 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I really like the black and white tones witht his image. In regards to this debate you've got, I think that a great photograph is one that captures the feel of a situation. If someone is able to do this better by postprocessing and changing an image then so be it. I don't disregard a van gogh painting because it isn't a perfect reflection of reality. Postprocessing and adding efefcts only gives the artist more tools with which they can create a more meaningful image. Personally, i don't liek to PP my work, but some of my favorite photo's are "un-natural" ones.

comment by Kyle A.M. at 10:49 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

In my experience, there seems to be a conception among non-photographers (and even some photographers) that the equipment used can somehow substitute talent, vision, or artistry. I've lost count of the number of times I've been told that I "must have a really great camera."

With the increasing accessibility of photographic technology to the masses, it seems the new magical cure-all is Photoshop. "Clearly it's THAT which separates my photography from the pros. If only I could afford Photoshop, I could do that too." Yes, Photoshop is a powerful tool. Yes, with enough knowledge and talent it can make a mediocre picture better. But yes, the old GIGO also generally holds true: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

I don't mean to sound bitter on this topic, but it does tend to grate, and I haven't yet found a reasonable way to answer the critics that wield this particular argument.

Closer to the topic at hand, I was myself a purist at one point, and I think that was an attempt to make myself focus on what I wanted to do or say with the picture before I snapped it. I felt that the story became somehow less "true" if it was edited into existence. With time, and reading the opinions of others in venues such as this, I've realised that the story isn't always evident until after the image meets the sensor (or film), and sometimes not even until it's been teased into view.

And with that, I'll take a page from Gavin's essay above and end my dissertation. ;)

comment by ROB at 11:20 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I for one appreciate what gets posted here. There is a reason why each day I (and many, many others) come back to see what has been done.

comment by JD at 11:52 PM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

I questioned a while ago on john washingtons site (when HDR was doing the rounds):
"What happens when 3D rendering in cameras becomes a reality????"

A lot of us will one day question new radical techniques such as the 3D rendering. Saying that its not photography! and that using it is cheating!
But for a lot of people autofocus is a step too far. Some people hate the thought of colour photographs. let alone digital and photoshopping.

To be honest I don't care as long as it looks good (also helps if its what the photographer wanted, but I don't mind the odd bit of luck ;) ), plus its a bonus if it has deeper meaning and

Anyway, I like this shot, Its a great moment, and as always its technically brilliant :D
Love the contrast and the darkness to the right corners

comment by Adrian Hudson at 12:22 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

My son is in the midst of an Art "A" Level. He picks up my SLR (or even his little IXUS) and takes crazy shots at all sorts of strange angles. He then puts them through Photoshop - or more often Illustrator (now, there's a piece of software to be reckoned with!!) and produces anything from a (nearly) straight shot to a complete abstract. It really pi**es me off what he can do!!

I like to record what I see. I don't know why I dont like to mess with the result. I suppose that to ME photography is a _recording_ art form. If I wanted to make abstract or heavily modified images i would probably would not start with a camera. I would learn Illustrator and practice, practice, practice.

My son more often than not starts in illustrator with a blank canvas and creates his own images. He can make anything from a full abstract to a near lifelike image -- via an Andy Warhol "pop art" image. Grrrr! I wish I could do that!!...

...but I can't. I can see a good shot when I see it. I can (sometimes) capture it. I dont like to mess with it other than the odd tweak to make the colours more like what I SAW or remove the odd telegraph pole from an otherwise pristine shot (and then I feel guilty).

I guess it takes all sorts. Some people who do old cars up like to add all sorts of bells and whistles - chrome bits, extra lights etc etc. Some people dont - they like to make them exactly like they were when they came out of the showroom.

You, Dave, dont mind altering your images to make them art... I like recording what is there, not what is not. Who is right? Neither, I guess.

I would say though that this world is beautiful enough. Isn't it?

comment by redge at 12:32 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Tom is right. This sort of question, of how an art 'should' be interpreted and expressed, can be found in all arts- from music, to film, to paint, and even in dance. The only difference between these arts and photography is that, they welcome diversity by sorting themselves to genres.

comment by Ashish Sidapara at 12:48 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006


comment by john @ lightproofbox.com at 01:10 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

I actually prefer today's to yesterday's based on the feeling I get from them. They're both great shots but yesterday's gives me an apocalyptic feel and this one is much warmer emotionally. As for the "debate"... (I'm also not the John quoted above) arbitrarily defining what a photograph is "supposed" to be is as futile as arguing with closed-minded people. :-)

comment by Dave F at 02:00 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006


Fantastic again. Is there a time when this pier/beach really starts to fill up with people? Your image 'On the North Pier' seems to hint at activity, but most seem to suggest the eerie abandoned feeling of an old sound stage.

As for the debate, I think your right about the fact that it is circular by nature. Although, I am reminded of something some hack photographer once said:

Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.
-Ansel Adams

Keep up the great work!

comment by Matt at 04:27 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Nice shot.

comment by brett at 04:41 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

maybe you call your site digital blog instead as it relates more to what your doing than photography..

comment by Robert at 05:03 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

My 2 cents: Photography that is simply about "recording an image" is photojounalism. There are other types of photography - this site - more often than not, ventures into them. It is photography-period. So-called "purists" who say otherwise are being elitist IMO and nothing more.

BTW-it is just silly to say you can take a crap photo and turn it into a great photo in post processing. Anyone who has done any post processing knows this to be false. Can you save a shot sometimes, sure, but not with a valueless original.

comment by Robert at 05:17 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

BTW-excellent point Tom re: the music analogy. I wonder how many pianists are playing their pieces the way the long dead (in some cases) original composer "meant" it to be played, or if the composer would even care. From what I understand it is often now known how the piece was meant to be played and when original sheets are found in the composers own hand there are often certain accents and nuisances indicated that reveal a different method (perhaps the intended method) of playing the same piece. (Goodness that sounds like post-processing!) LOL

comment by Caryn at 05:30 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

I love the air of nostalgia in this one, with the ferris wheel and the b&w.

As for the purists who feel that it's cheating to manipulate pictures, I'd point out that a) digital pictures are often manipulated by the camera before you even look at them and b) pre-digital photographers still manipulated their photographs. Maybe they didn't have as many fancy tools, but there were a variety of options. That said, there's no reason for anyone on either side to be snotty; purists can be proud of themselves for what they accomplish before the shot, whereas non-purists can be proud of themselves for what they accomplish before *and* after their shots.

comment by paul at 05:55 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006


Will people for evermore be blathering on and making grandiose pronouncements about other people's photography and how it is somehow deficient?

Perhaps it would be better to use our time either creating our own photographs that better fit our opinion about what photography is (or should be), or just using a search engine to find a website that features the type of photos we are looking for. I know it's hard to find photographers on the web, but with a little perserverence ...

Does anyone ever change their positions in these types of "debates". And, if so, does anyone else care?

comment by Navin Harish at 06:06 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

The giant weel in the background is adding interest to thi simage. I like the square format you have used.

comment by flying cow at 07:55 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

true, some pictures should just not be touched. but if the digital enhancing of an ordinary picture compliments it, then, why the heck not?

i love the tones of this picture. its beautiful.

comment by miles at 08:23 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Gotta love the square comp here.

I don't understand the debate film vs digital, people spent many hours in the analogue darkroom editing images. Even the choice of film effects how you capture the image. The debate should be how far you go with a photograph before it becomes something else. There are professional photographers that go much much further with manipulation, both digital and analogue, than Dave does for example, who have nothing but the respect of the photographic fine art community.

Personally I think it's about the individual's vision for the image. If the image you produce is what *you* saw, whether it's a literal translation of the scene or not, then that's fine with me.

There are no rules about photography, just opinions.

comment by eterisk at 08:23 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

A very interesting conversation you started David. I see all this photoblogging and taken pictures is a great way to explore myself and see my ordinary life in a different view. I try to remind myself that this is just for fun.. and that sometimes there is boundries to break, even photography boundries. Great work David.. and sorry for the hard comment a few days ago.

comment by bjorn at 08:25 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

more important than technique, develop your own style, you are/have been doing that, looks good to me

comment by Ellie at 08:29 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

I am a purist photographer, i like to think that an image should be true to what we see ourselves, all the fun for me is trying to capture the image i see with my eyes. Now that doesnt mean that im against digital manipulating, im not going to start anti-PS protests just yet. Edited and 'pure' pictures both have their place, often side by side. They are both valid and brilliant forms of art. But, personally, i am never totally satisfied with a photo after editing, it is much more rewarding to have taken the picture well in the first place. Its not my IT skills i want to develop, its my photography skills.
... Great pic BTW David :)

comment by Jennifer at 08:39 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006


You find arrogant ‘purists’ in all walks – I’m sure you are secure enough in who you are and what you do to let it wash over you and ignore their insecurities.

I cannot abide or ‘understand’ the work of the likes of Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin, but I do not visit their websites and tell them what they should be doing – intelligent well balanced people don’t need to! They are harming no one by what they do (though the odd animal might meet an ignominious end!) some like and enjoy their work, they earn a good living at it – I may not want to view it, but well done I say.

Live and let live.

comment by Mark DM at 08:57 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

This is a great, if familiar, discussion. I'll just add a couple of things from my perspective as a professional journalist and amateur photographer.

In journalism, if a photo is manipulated into unreality to make a point or to better illustrate a story (almost always a feature, as opposed to straight news), the ethics of journalism demand that the art be called a photo illustration. In addition, unless the effect is so exaggerated as to be obvious, the caption must explain that the image was doctored. If that's done, such photo illustrations are an acceptable part of journalism.

David's site isn't about journalism, but he takes a similar tack - if he's asked whether a photo was manipulated and how, he makes no attempt to hide what he's done. That, in addition to his beautiful images, earn my respect. Yesterday's photo was a stunner, by the way.

And as several others have pointed out, photographers have always manipulated their images. Ansel Adams made liberal use of red and yellow filters to bump up the contrast in his B-and-W photos (which by their nature altered reality, which is in color). With his most famous photo, "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico," he put a lot of thought into how he was going to process his shot before he stepped into the darkroom. I'd like to think he'd get behind what David is doing.

comment by AngelC at 10:17 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Beautifull Scene .

comment by RichS at 11:11 AM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

As far as I'm concerned we are talking about "Art". The camera is just a tool, as is photoshop, a paint brush, a pencil, etc.... "Photography" is a branch of art that uses a camera as a recording mechanism.

John - "photography is all about - recording an image". IMHO, photography is not about recording an image, photography is about generting art work using a camera. [ Just like painting is generating art work using a paint brush and paint, etc.... ]

When it comes to generating a piece of art work, the how and why is entirely the artists choice. At the end of the day. if people dont like the final piece, then they are entitled to their opinion - vote with your feet.

The only reason I could understand Johns original point is if the final piece is being marketed as being "fact". As far as I am aware, DJN has never hidden from the fact that some of his images manipulated.

comment by Jem at 12:16 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

My dissertation was on the impact of digital photography if you ever want to read it Dave ;P

A rather large chunk of it was on digital manipulation, or rather manipulation in general. Personally I don't find your images over-processed because they still maintain the original features and aspects of it that make the image what it is. I think manipulation in some industries is possibly going too far (fashion industry - slimming down models, removing imperfections etc. which is creating a more perfectionist idea to young, influential people about how they should look. It is reducing their self esteem leading to the increase in food disorders and rise in plastic surgery.)

Anyway not to get too far off the beaten track - we're here to share images, to be inspired and to improve our photography. Why the need to brandish works of art with labels in order to change either a) people opinions of it or b) it's validity is nonsensical. It doesn't get the viewer or photographer any further down to road to improving their photography. If people disagree so much with your work, they shouldn't be here. To spend time commenting on work that doesn't inspire them or that they appreciate seems to me like a way of trying to demean your images in front of others, and that boils down to jealousy.

Thats certainly the most i've ever wrote on here, and on 5hrs sleep I think that's pretty good ;) Nice shot Dave - talk to you later :D

comment by Jesse at 01:23 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Regarding this argument, I like your style and support your art. Do whateve ryou like. Your approach is very different than that of daily dose of imagery, which seems to have a more realistic approach. Durham Township has her own style too, dreamlike. I would be interested in submitting one RAW image to each of you, and comparing the results. What do you say? I generally consider you three the top photobloggers on the entire net.

comment by Bob at 01:41 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

What a well designed and executed crop.

comment by Sharla at 01:44 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

[Need to check the crop ratio data above.] A pleasant shot, well presented.

Purist - what does that mean? No camera captures the range available to the eye. No color film or digital camera captures the range of b&w film. No medium is pure. No vacation sunset ever made it home "pure" (which is too bad). How much is the purist forced to compromise before he decides "purity begins and stops here?"

Zones - love any reference to Adams and the above have been accurate. Adams spent years of study and experimentation controling the zones captured on film and reproduced in the darkroom (read: PS levels). As mentioned, he used yellow and red filters with b&w to deepen clouds and skies, green to lighten plants (read: PS curves).

History - The original "purists" were Adams and others of f:64. They rejected the fuzzy images and posed figures in Greek robes by photographers seeking to make "art." They championed photography as an art form and sought crispness of image from corner to corner.

Statements about "faithfully recording the scene," etc., demonstrate little understanding of photography, its history, or its limitations.

Such statements also show extreme disrespect to the phenomenal efforts David exerts to compose and capture his images in the viewfinder. Some that stop by this station on the web ignore how little cropping David does, how full and rich his captures are, and how his PS skills are generally used to stretch the limitations of the digital medium to closer achieve what was seen, and then what was felt.

Sorry, but such banal statements demonstrate a very limited view on the world and a very limited understanding of photography and the medium. I respect the decision by those that wish to set their working boundaries at such points and I encourage them to explore their boxes to the fullest but don't expect me or others to not want to cut a door in that box. The universe doesn't scare me (but there are several parts I wouldn't visit again).

comment by David at 02:22 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Amateur photography as a hobby is about recording an image. Professional photography is about producing a perfect image, both in camera, and afterwards. I know you have a day job, but I think you could rival any pro:)

comment by Tom (elrostro) at 03:25 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Hi ! I had been reading the comments of your last pictures...
I believe that we are loosing the important view of all this. The way that you show or do your work (all the process) is just a medio to achieve what you need to say, express or feel and let the rest of us feel (or not) something about. You can do this by "classic" photography, digital, painting, etc. And, after all, you are achieving the most important goal, to be happy with what YOU do!!!
For all the people who spend a lot of time writing please go out and take some pictures! Have fun and enjoy the beauty of it!!
Thanks for sharing your pictures!
Tom (i just love take pictures)
P.D. Pardon for my english.

comment by lee at 04:32 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

People who dont think photoshopped photos are still photos test my patience. Do people not realise most of photoshop is based on traditional darkroom stuff?

Film has preset curves built in them to give each film different looks about them, digital images do not have this so need some help.

And I think people who shun digital processing do it because they can not use photoshop or be bothered to learn it.

When you compare photos by a post processor and a straight from digitial camera type a guy, Im sorry but there is no comparison. Its a completely different class, as shown on here, chromasia as an example.

comment by Erika Dugas at 04:44 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

My "photo friend" sent me this link and I am so glad he did. I am a graphic designer and amateur photographer. I have a lot of feelings on this topic: To PS or not to PS. And what I think is you are all right. It is about the final image and the artisit behind it. You can take it; you can make it. It becomes an expression by whatever means the artist feels is appropriate.
Personally, I think it seems wasteful not to be able to use all of the incredible tools that technology has delivered to all of us. We all crave to speak through our images. And whatever tools we select is a piece of that coversation.
David, I love this image and this site. Thank you for the inspiration.

-- erika --

comment by David [mondaymorningphoto.com] at 05:25 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Whoa... way too many comments above for me to read right now (I'll be back later)... but for now, I'll just say this...

When you see an image with your eyes, versus taking a picture with a camera, who is to say which picture is the image that should be recorded? Er, no-one, that's who.

In recording ANY image in ANY medium, it HAS to be interpreted, no? Whether it's via the type of film the light is hitting, the lens it's passing through, your digital camera settings... the in-camera software which converts the RAW to a JPG, or your computer software that you use to do the same.

Photoshop is just another layer (no pun intended) that I guess a lot of people are wary of, unfamiliar with or unable to use to as good an effect as the person they're arguing with :-)

Every image is a different interpretation of reality. Not wrong, just different. "More or less appealing to more or less people" is all that can be said.

People should just lighten up, enjoy life, and TAKE IT EASY (I've been saying it for a while :-)

Anyhoo... another great shot David! Oh, and congrats on that photobloggies award I just saw you've won :-)

Take it easy (there, said it again ;-)

comment by /\/\J at 05:48 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

so far ive loved almost everything you've put up on this site, pure image capture or post photo processing.

as for the photography/digital art discussion...i feel like it comes up every few months. just point the person/people who bring it up in the direction of those comment boards.

comment by M4gic at 05:55 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

great picture.. phantastic atmosphere

comment by David Levine at 06:32 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

My name is David as well, although I am not a photographer. I am an actor, no I am not going to draw the parallel in this argument with that of acting. I am going to do it with singing. The person presenting the image is the one who should decide if it is the image that deserved to be captured/presented. It comes down to a matter persons consicence. Look, some people love to sing. Now if you are a bad singer you can go into a recording studio and make yourself sound completely different. And thats fine. If you love to sing and want to share it with people even an honest yet distorted version of it then you are allowed, and god bless you and all your fans. If you are a "purist" singer and will only sing live, without a mic, and without accompniment then there is room for that too. The only problem occurs when one of those people says "I am a better singer than you!", or misrepresents what they truly are. (i.e. Vanilla Ice claiming he wasn't a hack, had he owned up to it I would still be buying his CD's today!) To be honest, I dont know enough about photography or digital processing to know which of his photos are unaltered or not...I just know what I like.

Not as cool as the greenish blue beach carnival shot,

comment by djn1 at 07:18 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Thanks everyone, not least for tending to agree with the approach that I use with my work.

comment by Chris Yakimov at 07:29 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

David, I look at your images everyday - they are gorgeous, and are helping me figure out what visually inspires me. I also appreciate that you bring yourself to this blog, sharing, and for me, teaching. So my thanks!

My 2 cents (or three?):

Not even the eye "records," if by record we mean something like a pure mirror image, so questions of "purity" and "catpure" are moot, I think.

The word "prosumer" haunts the camera review sites, and I wonder if this kind of debate is born less of themes like "pure" and "art," and more of a market trends that may pose a threat to people who have dedicated much of their lives into becoming fantastic at a technology that is so obviously shifting and opening up?

I play hockey. And it kills me that guys who never played competitive hockey in their lives are now taking shots that make mine look like muffins because they had the 300 bucks to buy one of those new one-piece composite sticks. And I won't describe what it's like to watch a 12-year old take a harder snapper than mine, lol. But disgruntlement aside, I can't argue that their shots aren't harder and that they're not scoring more goals: they are! Should they feel BAD about that? "Oh, sorry - didn't mean to snipe - it's this Synergy stick, you see. I'll take that back, okay?"

Then I bought one. Words don't even describe...

Keep doing your thing, David. It's a thing I aspire to!

comment by *mamo at 01:52 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

to your statement, i agree with you!

comment by parikha at 10:09 PM (GMT) on 31 March, 2006

I'm probably not saying anything new here, but I am mildly incensed by the fact that someone is going around challenging other people's methods, so I feel compelled to contribute my $0.02 anyway...

Photography is art, and the very definition of "art" is that it's a uniquely personal means of expression. No one is in any position to judge you for it or tell you how it's supposed to be done, and there is no such thing as a "basic principle" of photography, because it means something different to each of us. That's why we all like checking out each other's stuff: because we all do it differently, with our own personal style. If we all stuck to some silly boundaries, things would get pretty boring.

The worth of your work is not diminished one bit just because you choose to use the modern tools available to you. How you create your images is your business, and clearly whatever you're doing is working, as evidenced by the staggering number of people who admire your photographs. If someone doesn't like that you dodged a bit here or burned a bit there, then he's perfectly free to stop looking at your pictures at any time, right? No need for him to get his panties all up in a bunch over it, they're just pictures.

Personally, if I took photography as seriously as all the hardcore debaters, it wouldn't be fun anymore, and then what's the point in doing it? :)

comment by Alastair Bryce at 11:21 PM (GMT) on 31 March, 2006

I really, really love this photo!! The tone is amazing and the vignetting really adds mood - nice use of people as props and I love the composition...

comment by Ted at 11:39 PM (GMT) on 31 March, 2006

Maybe some people object to the use of the word "photography" itself? It seems to me that at some point, a photo can be manipulated to the point that it's not really a photo any longer. Personally, I don't believe that any of your photos cross this line, but I'm sure that the definition of a photograph has some subjectivity in it.

comment by David at 12:13 PM (GMT) on 19 April, 2006

my english is not so good but please, look at this. http://www.elclubdigital.com/galeria/browseimages.php?do=member&imageuser=3592.
He's using your photos as he was his owner.

comment by Heather Bishop at 10:06 PM (GMT) on 11 May, 2006

Your photos are amazing~
Very Beautiful~
Thank you