Sunday, March 17, 2013

In Their Own Words - Francis Bacon

"The contemplation of things as they are,
without error or confusion, without
substitution or imposture, is in itself a
nobler thing than a whole harvest of

Francis Bacon
(posted on Dorothea Lange's
darkroom door)

In the Most Unexpected Place - South Uist, Scotland, 2011
   This quote always comes to my mind when I begin to toy with photoshop.  The digital age has given us the power to alter reality in profound and mind bending ways.  But I prefer to take my world "as is", straight up, with all it's imperfections. I may play with the tonal range a bit, burn, dodge, crop, all the things I've always done in the traditional darkroom, but I draw the line when it comes to adding things that weren't there or importing different skies  The world, even with all it's imperfections, is perfect as it is.  Perhaps I could have made this photograph more spectacular if I had cloned the heather so it completely covered the hill and I could have switched out the sky for something much more dramatic but I was satisfied with it as it was.  I feel no need to play God in my photography.  

   Being a contemplative photographer means, for me at least, the contemplation of things as they are.  I've never had any trouble with using what I find on location.  The artistic dimension enters into the equation when I make my choices - composition, lighting, viewpoint, etc.   I want to be sure that it reflects my feeling about the subject, whatever it is.  If I was content with just anybodies feelings, I'd just buy postcards!

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