Sunday, October 10, 2021

Strange trends in photography

Do you want to believe your eyes?

Here is an original. A bit dullish, yet beautiful as any overcast dull fall day can be.

Photo editing programs are now coming out with sky swaps. Yes, for real. 

This next shot is sky swapped ... I made it pretty obvious. And I hit one single AI button that told the program to Use a Fall preset which automatically increased the oranges and yellows. 

Obviously, I was not out in a storm with lightening strikes as the sky image suggests. 
I could have added a tornado, a sunset, or beautiful clear skies. What really jerks my chain is I could add the MilkyWay or an Aurora Borealis. 

Now. I might do these things IF I were doing perhaps a fantasy photo. But never ever a photo of things I would be taking of a normal scene.

The best part of photography is searching for good light and interesting conditions. Saturday morning we had some incredibly thick fog. So Charlie and I took a stroll through the woods to 'find' interesting light and fog.

Of course, it never turns out exactly like I 'see' it in my mind. But if I am going to really make a large edit, I will own up to it.

I am all for art. I like well done composits that invoke a scene of fantasy. I can appreciate art for art.

But I cannot condone photographers adding another sky just because they can pick a prettier one.

What is the incentive then to actually go out during a sunrise or sunset to be awe inspired by nature and photograph it, if you can 'just make it'.

But in order to be noticed as a Pro photographer today, it seems more and more that a person has to add the wow factor. 

Here is a pretty wild edit I did quite a while ago. 

Yes, I like to mess around, but I will never pass off an artificial sky. I took this sky and added cloud brushes, a moon brush, and star brushes. I changed Siera to be pure black with the fence and grasses behind her. It was just a fun thing I did one night when I couldn't sleep. 


  1. Most photographers worth their salt reveal major editing. Others don’t, for the wrong reasons. Some just wait to see if anyone can tell. I don’t mind major editing, it’s just not what I chose to do. The digital era we live in has fostered many unartistic folks, not necessarily a bad thing.

    One thing that really irks me, is the prevalent social media competitive outdoing. I really (really) dislike it!! You know, who can travel the furthest aor climb the highest mountain for the bestest most perfect photo ever seen by mankind. All this for the most likes…don’t get it or want any part of it. I just don't play in that sandbox.

    There is also the equipment war. Who has the newest best and the most stuff, oh - and knows the "only" way to capture XYZ.

    On the contrary, I value the photographer who can SEE and capture beauty with the least amount of tools or manipulation. But, that’s just me. I've always walked to the beat of a different drum.

    Every field of study has similar less than desirable characteristics. Swap out a few words and most of it fits. Ex. Who has collected the most degrees from the best universities etc. It’s all part of human nature, I guess. End of rant.

    1. Perfect answer!
      I'm going to give you a link to a photo I took with my first ever digital camera. It was an Olympus point and shoot u410 Stylus. I cried when that camera died. I loved it more than anything in the world. This was the 4th magazine cover I did for Mules and More Magazine with this camera:

      That said, I have found that my little pocket camera really rocks. I use it often and I will carry only it when on a long hike.

      The social media competition? Yeah, it is crazy.

    2. Love it! Thanks for sharing. Is that Rich riding the mule on the cover? I should really give Flickr another try. I am still on there, just let my "pro" account go dormant many moons ago. It is more about actual photography and less about outdoing everyone else.

    3. That was taken in Missouri where a guy had just finished doing a first ride on a mule. I laid under the fence in manure and took the shot.
      I like Flickr as I've made some really long time friends there. I've had people that I have conversed with for at least 10 years.
      I love the ability to just enjoy photography there...and of course strange art.

  2. Well that was interesting...I must live under a rock as I didn't realize the possibilities...the last photo is rather magical doctored up!

    1. Thanks I was making up fun weird stuff at that time and I still do.
      I love dabbling in the artsy fartsie world just to see if I can 'do' things.
      I do wish I could afford Creative Suite by Adobe, it would allow me to be more creative with layers. I miss the old Photoshop 7. I learned on that without instructions. My son put it on my computer and said...."Just mess with it."


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