On the creation of an image


A question that I am often asked is “Do you manipulate the pictures?” The most direct and succinct answer is simply “Yes, I do.”  But this response needs some expansion, so I will usually add that my goal is to reproduce what I saw at that moment in time.

The camera is a completely unbiased recording device which is very different from the human eye/brain combination. When we look at something, our eye is ‘seeing’ everything, but the brain is focusing on one thing at a time and creating an overlaying order to the cacophony of what the eye is seeing.

As a photographer, I must take the recorded information from the camera and create an image that approximates what my brain remembered of the visual scene at that moment in time.

As am example of this, follow along on a short trip along the path of creation of one of my more popular images, “A bit of red on the side”.
This is the image that came from the camera and after my standard “development” process, but before any ‘sculpting’ to my concept for a final image.

First, the image was cropped so the the left edge of the image was just to the left of the  orange leaves and the left angled birch trunk. This helped to organize the image around the birch trunks on the right side of the original picture.

The second process that took place was getting the color right with my impressions. The original had much more yellow in it than I wanted. This solved the problem with the orange leaves that I distinctly remember as being bright red. This process also refined the color palette to my liking.
Though greatly simplified, this is a brief look at my thoughts on the creation of this image.

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