Before & After #5

May 25, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Happy Memorial Day, friends.

My last blog post (Before & After #4) brings up a couple of good questions: How far should one go with photomanipulation?  Does photomanipulation violate photographic integrity and sincerity?

Yes, and no. I believe that there needs to be a balance between sincerity and faithfulness to one's artistic vision.  One's sense of this balance comes from diligent study, constructive self-criticism, and abundant experience.  My original vision for the last Before & After was to convey the vastness of the land, and how little we truly are in this vastness.  The presence of too many people interfered with my vision; so, I shopped them out.  I was also in the early adolescent stages of discovering the power of Photoshop, and wanted to practice putting those newly-unearthed tools to work.  However, looking back at the photo and pondering my experience of being there, perhaps I went too far.  It's a little humorous, actually, now that I think about it.  But, humor is not the essential experience I wanted to recall upon making this photograph.

Which brings us to today's Before & After. In this photo, I wanted to capture the loneliness and isolation of COVID-19 quarantine.  My two children play well together (most of the time, anyway), but after many weeks of staying at home, indeed, they became restless and bored.  I also wanted to capture this frame in a way that would facilitate the memory of this house we live in, with all the details that can help reconstruct that memory.  I could have shopped out the grill on the deck, or that folding patio table which has remained closed ever since our cross-state move last year, but I didn't want to; I didn't find them distracting.  What I did find distracting, however - as silly as it may seem - was the brass plate in the middle of the sliding door.  The doggie bed in the lower right corner didn't bother me so much, and I would have left it there, but my adding vignetting in post-processing (to draw further attention to the children in the photo) made it disappear anyway.

Otherwise, all I did was crop the photo a bit tighter, straightened the horizon, and added some contrast to amplify the mood.

Camera settings: Sony A7 III with Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens @ 16mm & f/2.8, 1/250 second, ISO 1000.

Happy Shooting!

Before. After.


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