From snapshot to art… an elusive shift
Since I began shooting with my new DSLR, I’ve been focused on moving my photography from the snapshot realm over to what I (or others) could consider art. But that is far easier said than done. Subtle shifts in all variables can make such a dramatic impact in the final shot. Dialing the in finer points to perfection, has thus far eluded me.
While I’ve been making progress, I’m still finding that my shots are closer to what I would consider snapshots than what I would frame and hang on my wall (bear in mind I may have a high standard since most of the art in my house are original watercolours done by my father and he is the one who taught me how to appreciate art with a critical eye). I’ve changed subject matter, adjusted my aperture and shutter speeds, and jockeyed my ISO. I’ve shifted focal points, cropped tall and wide to short and tight, and become a contortionist to get a different angle… all to the same result: medium colour tones, over exposed sky or under exposed landscapes….. nothing has popped.
So I’ve changed my tactic a bit. Now, while I play with getting the images i want out of my camera, I’m taking the images I actually get and playing with some post-processing edits. I’m a bit more pleased with the resulting after-edit images, but still feel like I am a ways away from something I’d be proud to hang on my walls. I admit, I am no fan of post-process editing. I (shockingly I know) have a bit of a purist attitude to photography: if I can’t get it out of my camera, then it is not photography but computer art instead. Yes, I know most will disagree with me and point out that I am not using film so I am being a bit of a hypocrite, and you would have valid points. Yet I will stand my ground, but not to the point of never editing… just to the point where I will continue to push and challenge myself to get as close as possible from the camera itself without the need for editing after the fact.
That all said, I began playing with some edits in Google’s Picasa tool. Very basic, which is fine by me. All I want to do with editing right now is to mimic the capabilities I’d have in a darkroom if I were working with film. So I’ve limited myself to only cropping and adjusting light levels, nothing more. No fancy effects or gausian blurs. Just darkroom tools so I can pretend I am doing what I’d have done anyway….
So here you go, my first foray into post-process images. All the following were taken Sunday April 17th, 2011approximately 3:30-4pm, at Hill Cemetery just outside of Laurelwood, Oregon:
Any and all feedback welcomed. I’d appreciate a 3rd party perspective on what I may be missing to help be bridge that gap from snapshot to art.