Artricle Comments: Walrus At Storoya, Svalbard

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  • Lance Lewin
    Lance Lewin
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    on: July 28, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    My cousin and his wife recently took a similar cruise to the Antarctic – and their Face Book photo postings were truly wonderful. No question, one of these two destinations is on my bucket list, indeed! Peter Eastway photograph is simply beautiful and interesting how Eastway explained how the photograph developed into the final version. A great tutorial.

    Since so few are questioning the relentless addiction photographers have developed to post-production manipulation – I feel I must play the devils advocate and present a view that I am confident will inspire a civilized debate. To make this short I will jump into the deep end of the pool (or in this case, the cold waters off of Norway). It is my contention, and contrary to what software manufactures tell us (or sell us) we really do not see in 4K. Yeah, we do not. I do not ever remember seeing the “exactitude” in either a blade of grass while watching a baseball game from box seats and I surely have never enjoyed eyesight that extracts “details” and “structure” the way I have been seeing wildlife photographs both online and in person, most recently at the 2019 Imaging USA in Atlanta, Georgia.

    Simply, Eastway’s rendering, though wonderfully glorious, and no doubt the product of the artists great virtuosity, appears unrealistic. The visual presentation seems “staged” though we can see it is clearly not: it seems like the final version was shot in a studio. It is almost Rembrandt-like how the subjects are glowing – a beautiful artistic rendering for sure, but far from visually representing reality, in which case using this extreme “post-production makeup” is closer to digital art.

    As we move along the digital photography highway, perhaps we should slow down to a more cautious speed, to take particular notice on how progress may be effecting how patrons of the arts (and particularly photography) question the authenticity of what they are viewing. It is my belief we are witnessing a paradigm shift in the way artists’ and patrons of the arts approach and view photography. It has become prevalent to stroll through photography exhibitions and juried events and ask, “is the piece digitally manipulated?”. For example: I was removing my work from a small space a couple of years ago when an elder women asked, ‘I love the portrait of the Amish boy and want to know what software do you use to make it look like film‘. At first expressing bemusement, I answered the women, ‘It is film!

    From this point we can begin to discuss how to better, and more constantly categorize photography.  Thank you.

    Lance A. Lewin

    Lance A. Lewin

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