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    terry connelly

      Where does a photo end and a different form of art begin? We each have preferences, how do those dictate what we see and how we perceive it? I am putting up two works. Neither is a straight photo both have been manipulated and simplified with the goal of presenting a story. One is though closer to the original photo while the other has gone into a filter program. Does that make one more valuable than the other? I am just wondering how others perceive my work and how if at all the questions above influence how it is viewed. No right or wrong answers here just my own curiosityA Child Learns at Lascaux.jpg 2A Child Learns at Lascaux and desire to learn more about how we perceive what we see.

      SteveM CompChair

        Where does a photo end and a different form of art begin?

        Good question, maybe a comparison to analog photography may apply to digital. IMO anything done to a film photo beyond burning and dodging would  put it in the different art form category. So if your using Lightroom you wouldn’t be doing anything else other than basic develop module stuff that would be similar to darkroom printing.

        We each have preferences, how do those dictate what we see and how we perceive it?

        I have no idea!

        One is though closer to the original photo while the other has gone into a filter program. Does that make one more valuable than the other?

        I believe the more original work that goes into a piece should hold more value than a few clicks and manipulations of software programming. I’m sure this is not always the case, and not sure if I care, as long as the result looks like an original concept and I’m attracted to it.


        terry connelly

          With regard to your opinion and the comparison to analog that is how I see it also. Once we left the world of the darkroom IMO we entered a new world where the concept of what a “pure” photo is changed forever. Lr or Ps have some tools which can duplicate those we would have found in the darkroom. AI though as we find it in Luminar and various other programs depends on outside algorithms as I understand this and take the work and decision-making out of the hands of the maker. The maker can of course choose to use only parts of those algorithms which does put more control back into their hands, but is it still the same thing? Not sure ………..

          Programs such as Topaz go another step and create what I see as an overlayer that takes the work further into a new world and away from the photo that was originally conceived. That is not a “wrong” thing to my mind or “bad” as some might perceive it, it is just a different direction. To my mind, all works when viewed with an objective mind need to be evaluated according to the skills and knowledge presented in their presentation. In other words, have they been done well and do they show the necessary skills in the art form they purport to represent? In a photo that possibly means focus, lighting, etc. “Impact” or “Wow” which are popular terms currently used are determined on those and other merits and not some magical component that can’t be explained. MHO anyway.

          So, if my perception is that anything that is not straight from the camera is somehow inferior I have been influenced as to how I see that work. For me, it simply makes more sense to accept that work as a different art form that while having originated from a photo is no longer a photo and to accept it for what it is, a new form of art. Whether it is well done or not is another matter.

          So, as a “camera” club where does, that take us? I don’t see a need for any formal recognition but for me personally, there is a further mental categorizing of how I view what I do and what I see. Photos, for me, are anything that most closely resembles what I would have expected to come out of a dark room. Photos that have been processed more severely in regard to light and shadows etc. still fall under this category to me. All the other hundreds of program cameras and phones that take the process further out of the hands of the maker, for me, have moved into another category which I view as manipulated photos. They are no less worthwhile, but how I view them has changed. How well they have been accomplished and the skills of the maker are the thing that matter most to me. Do I have a preference? Not really, I view them as two separate art forms and judge them each differently. Does any of this matter? Maybe not, but to me, it just furthers my understanding of both what I am looking at and how I as a person perceive what I look at which I feel will help me be more observant and hopefully a better artist.

          Thank you for your thoughts, Steve. By hearing others’ thoughts I am challenged to better form my own.

          Herbert Gaidus

            Well Said Terry and Steve,

            I’ve been out of commision for a few weeks, but I did get to watch a lot of YouTube videos.

            Most recently, I was watching a lot of lectures from the on landscape channel

            It was interesting to me that the landscape genre, or at least the speakers at this conference, spanned the full range of photographic interpretation of the “land”

            It started with the most literal interpretations of the scenery, (pejoratively referred to as “eye candy”), to those that have been manipulated delicately colorwise, to aggressively colorwise or with other filters. Then also those who concentrate on smaller intimate scenes, and those who take images outdoors that would qualify as complete abstractions.

            I was equally impressed and awed by “all” variations of outdoor photography, and will probably try to play with some alternatives on the continuum to complete abstraction. I’ve just got to get this color thing worked out first 🙂

            Regarding your original images Terry, I think that they are great. Well balanced, colored, and impactful.

            Which is “best”? – The criteria I am using these days on my work, is the image which makes me the most happy, or best expresses what I felt when I made the exposure. Unfortunately, I find that this criteria is not as consistent and rigorous as my engineering brain would like. To get around this ambiguity, I might be doing an exercise similar to yours with these two presentations. I just make a few versions, export them as jpgs, and live with them for a few days to see which one survives the scrutiny. (or maybe both do…)

            Back to your images,, for me, the first stylized one is the most impactful. Having seen it, the second to me appears halfway literal – kind of an “almost” stylized with the in focus boy and deeply blurred dark background. But then again, on a second viewing it works as well. (I wonder whether the sequence of presentation has impacted my appraisal?)

            I’m sure others might see it differently.

            Anyway, glad to have a forum for image critique back on line.

            I’ll try to get some stuff up soon.


            Kudos to Steve Ruddy for getting this on line. The full size images are awesome!

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