Nature or nurture?
I’ve never been one to long for the good old days. I was a history major. The good old days weren’t always so. Neither do I curse technology. After all, at one time the wheel and the ball point pen were game changers. And I've always wondered why the Amish bless the wheel but damn the internal combustion engine. Anyway, I welcome innovations such as WiFi, Spellcheck, DSLR. But, wow, some of these photographs! You’ve seen them - the blazing kaleidoscope sunsets where the sun sets in front of the hot pink clouds into an impossibly azure lagoon. I have no argument with photography editing programs per se. Film photographers have manipulated exposures in the darkroom since the beginning of the medium. There have always been ways to influence an image, whether to tweak the lighting just a bit or to completely transform an image into a multimedia work of art. But as a nature photographer, I can’t help but agonize over using filters and fixes. When your only day off is Thursday and Thursday is overcast and those are the only hours of daylight you have in the botanical garden, it’s hard not to bump up the color of your posies in post-production. I’ve done it. Yet I was hiking recently with my nephew - millennial and very good amateur videographer - and as he bounded ahead of me on the trail he said, “I just want my photographs to come out the way I see it. I hate all the filters my friends use." There's nothing wrong with two besties at the beach going Mayfair on their Instagram selfie. But for serious nature photographers, capturing the natural world as we see it is a noble goal still fraught with temptation, failure, but also reward. I call this photograph
No Filter. But would a smidgen of enhancement to the yellow cloud have been so bad?
Copyright RC 2016