While I have never claimed to be a Jedi, I have recently been stepping over the line to what I call the “dark side” of post processing. Not that I think it’s evil or anything like that, my view was to simply honor the photographic process as in the film days. Even though there was much processing done in the dark room with filters, dodging, burning, cross-processing etc, the fact is not many of us had access to that type of processing in the film days. At least I didn’t. I would fire off a half dozen rolls of my favourite slide or print film, send it off to the lab and eagerly await the return of successes and failures. So I have always tried to keep post processing to the basics in the digital age. Adding nothing and taking nothing away using the simple tools and sliders in Lightroom and tossing in a Nik filter here and there to enhance what was already there. I now have accepted the fact that when we make a photograph, we are making art and that art is a reflection of our own styles and tastes. I questioned in a previous post, “The Camera Lies”, if we are cheating the viewer by heavily manipulating our images. Is our goal to achieve reality? My view is that a photograph is not reality but simply a representation of reality. So with all that, I have given my self free rein to cropping, cloning, transforming, layermasks , blending modes and all the great tools available to create my art. Having said all that, I am still a believer of the disclosure principle.
I have been sorting through some old files and came across this never before posted image from Jasper National Park. The first one was processed back in October of 2012. In the second image, I used the raw file and took free liberty to do what “felt” right to me. The was no heavy mechanical breathing and I didn’t even have visions of the future. Just a wave of my hand and I took colour away, added it back, took it away and again added it back each time using blending modes and layer masks to my liking. I brightened and darkened, exported to Nik and used the most unlikely combination of filters and blended them back in Photoshop. I cloned and skewed and even cropped. And in the end, the differences between the first processed image back in 2012 and the most recent one isn’t that different. I do however feel that the second version is more a representation of my art and I am pleased to share it with you.
I sense something, a presence I’ve not felt since… Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends. Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for… Photoshop? . So, you have Photoshop!? You don’t know the power of the dark side!!!
Until next time…