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2011/04/21

Textures

Digital photography opens many doors in the realm of creativity. Of course there is a debate wether some of those endeavors can still be considered photography. From my point of view, it depends purpose. In the realm of photojournalism, something I really respect and like to shoot, then there should be basically no alterations. Then again, even with film, the choice of film and adding of filters will alter the final result. What about exposure and white balance adjustments with digital photography? In these cases, is using post-production really affecting the final result to the point where it should be rejected? Many publications have decided that it is fine, and I agree with it. But it is a Pandoras box as the line is hard to draw.

In the case of commercial and art photography, I believe anything goes, the power of the image prevails. Although we tend to have the view that photography should reflect reality (whatever that is), photographers have been manipulating theirs images since the beginning. With film, in addition to choice of film and filter(s), development, dodging and burning, multiple exposures, choice of angle and lens and cropping, to name just these, have altered reality to fit the artist's vision. Sometimes there is backlash, like people complaining about some images being quite different from reality (cheap target, I agree, but most clients ask for it, don't be shocked). But think about it, do we feel cheated when a painter's image doesn't reflect reality? What about Chopin's Funeral March, is it a "real" representation of a funeral?

No. It's in an interpretation. And art, in the widest sense of the term, is also the interpretation of a feeling an artist wants to express.

With this in mind, digital photography and post-production does allow you and I to alter an image to convey meaning and feeling to our audience, even if it's an audience of one. Recently a technique that's been getting exposure is the use of textures. Basically, you super-impose two or more pictures and then use masks and blending modes (Photoshop terminology) to create a new image. A few photographers/artists employed these at this year's Fotografika exhibition and I used it myself last year.

Today, when I was out, finding textures was my aim. I leave you with some recent use of textures, and two that I shot today. Instead of buying some 'texture packs' on the internet, I strongly encourage to get your own: this way, your images will truly be unique.

Kazuma and some grass

Tomoko's daughter was born '11.4.8;
the texture is from a Goma concert
Anything can be a texture; let your imagination run wild

Flattish subjects work best; don't worry too much about
size since layers usually are not the main subject

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