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Brother Photos

May 17, 2008





Okay, the last post from this shoot. Okay, maybe not. Just thought of another lesson to be learned by unsuspecting blog readers, a lesson learned from this shoot. But, in the meantime, here are a few from the brother. This kid is a lot of fun to photograph. And, as evidened by the first posts, he is clearly skilled in the art of Kung-Fu, which makes any shoot far more entertaining.
By the way, the idea with much of this shooting is to make images that are simple and as real as possible. I don’t believe in perfection, especially when it comes to photography and kids.
So much of the imagery we see today is so over-the-top with Photoshop and post production manipulation, and the vast majority of this type of work, in my mind, either takes away from the overall image, or is trying to substitute for a very average original image.
Nothing in life is perfect, so why would images be? If it looks to good to be true, chances are, it is.
I think what we miss in our attempt to “create” perfection is honesty and REAL emotion, whether that be happiness, sadness or even boredom, and when you photograph kids you are always going to get a combination of all of these.
The question is, where we will stop? Already, many of the portraits, wedding images, and now even the documentary images I see are saturated beyond anything real life has to offer, and are sharper than what the human eyes sees? Why is this? Your eye doesn’t selectively sharpen, so why do your images look this way?
In the words of a good friend, “When did reality get so boring?”
It didn’t.
Often times the most important images, or the most relevant, seem to be images that reflect a time, a place or a moment. Often times they are very simple, straight images that will look as good in thirty years as they do now. They are not about technique, they are about content.
Look, in high school I dressed in parachute pants, white high-tops and an Izod shirt. I thought I looked really great. However, I sure as heck don’t want to look or dress like that today. The same can be applied to our images, they are, after all, a testament to time and are intended to last.
I think many of the pictures today are dated by their manipulations, which is something I try to avoid. Remember the bride in the wine glass? Today’s version?? How about the wedding image that looks like a sci-fi movie poster? How about the seventeen adjustment layer portrait? These are dated the moment you hit the “flatten image” button. I think these pictures will provide great entertainment in the future, which is a good thing, but perhaps not in the way they were intended.
If the pictures are good, you don’t need adjustments layers, masking, selective anything. You just need the picture. Okay, and maybe parachute pants.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Maryam in Marrakesh permalink
    May 19, 2008 9:14 am

    I am hearing you on the post-production manipulation. Would it be that all of us were so skilled as you…But that’s what makes you the professional phototrapher (and the rest of us slouches:))

    I love that 3rd shot – really draws into relief his interesting features.

  2. April Rocha permalink
    May 21, 2008 11:47 pm

    I love how you verbalize so well how I feel about overmanipulated digital images which I always tell people will be SO dated in 10 years and no one wants to listen to me. Now if only I could get everyone to read your blog.

  3. SmogRanch permalink
    May 22, 2008 12:52 am

    April,

    I think we are only at the beginning of this trend. Just as CGI has begun to take over the auto industry, I think you will start to see in this in all genres. Someone recently sent me a link to some “wedding contest winning” pictures, and I have to say, I wouldn’t even know how to describe them. They were…..so…..sci-fi. I’m not sure who is asking for this type of image. I have a sinking suspicion these images come from someone who loves the computer as much as they do actually making pictures in the field. I can’t imagine a wedding client coming in out of the blue and asking for this type thing, but maybe I am wrong.

  4. SmogRanch permalink
    May 22, 2008 12:53 am

    April,

    I think we are only at the beginning of this trend. Just as CGI has begun to take over the auto industry, I think you will start to see in this in all genres. Someone recently sent me a link to some “wedding contest winning” pictures, and I have to say, I wouldn’t even know how to describe them. They were…..so…..sci-fi. I’m not sure who is asking for this type of image. I have a sinking suspicion these images come from someone who loves the computer as much as they do actually making pictures in the field. I can’t imagine a wedding client coming in out of the blue and asking for this type thing, but maybe I am wrong.

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