At what point does manipulating a photo cross the line making it photo art?


One of the great things about sharing a passion with a spouse is you can spend an inordinate amount of time debating things that really don’t matter.  Peter and I will often find ourselves debating on whether an image has been cooked “Cajun style”.  Meaning, it is so over processed it can no longer be considered a representation of what was captured.  I, for one, wear the title of Cajun Chef with pride, and do not hesitate in viewing my images as source material to fuel my creative energy.

Peter is more of a purist.  He captures beautiful scenes and honors their true nature when he processes his images (except for his current addiction to bleach bypass techniques which for some unfathomable reason he likes to use on people to make them look very, very, old and cranky).  I rarely show my source material in “Before” and “After” types of situations, in part because the “Before” is far from my vision, and also in part it can be a little embarrassing to show my original captures (But Mini – this one is for you).

I recently spent 24 hours with a dear friend and her husband in Brighton, UK.  Jetlagged and overwhelmed, we walked through her town and I quickly snapped a couple of snapshots to remember the city.  When I got home, I had fun processing them – creating blue sky on an overcast day; edgy black and whites when my default camera setting didn’t quite give me what I wanted.  Photography is a creative art, even when you’re just a tourist taking snapshots.

I don’t believe there is an answer to the question I posed on this post.  It resides with the individual.  They know when they are crossing the line between enhancing what they saw, to embellishing and changing the original scene.  What do you think – did what I do to these images cross the line?



(I threw in a couple of pictures of my friends “kids”.  I’m not really a dog person, but these two were able to start to turn me after 24 hours of their antics.)



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