I've been to several inspiring landscape galleries this week. What an amazing experience to walk through a gallery and stand in silence, full of emotion, and actually experience each photo in an photographer's gallery. I'm inspired, I'm grateful, and I want to open my own gallery! Soon!
My favorite was Peter Lik, in Las Vegas. If I ever have the opportunity to meet that man, I will cry when I shake his hand. The power in his photos... I cannot find words to describe it.
This week has also brought up some thoughts, and some questions. Many reputable photographers show composite photos in their galleries. This means two or more photos are taken, then combined in post-processing ("photoshopped"). There is a lot of skill involved in combining photos, or any editing, and it defines much of a photographer's style. My clients know it takes an average of 3-4 hours at the computer for every 1 hour shooting. And I don't often show the unfinished product - I take pride in my work and want the photo to be complete before delivered. But today I'm going to make an exception and here's why:
I believe the world is a beautiful place. As a photographer, I get to prove that. Life in this world is beautiful and we get to celebrate it - in its light and darkness, its joy and pain, in its changing seasons, night and day, large rock formations or small butterflies on a flower. I can use photography to let other people see through my eyes, my lens, and what an amazing thing that is. I hope that if someone feels inspired by something a photo, they also open their eyes to see it in the beauty of every day - or every night.
Now, if you are ever left wondering if these photos are beautiful because they are "photoshopped" then I have failed.
Photoshop does not create beauty in these photos - yes, it is important and it refines what is already there. But the colors, the sky, the stars, the light, the textures, the crispness, that's all SOC - Straight Out of Camera. So, today, here is an example of an unedited photos. I imported this Vallery of Fire photo (from Valley of Fire State Park) to my computer and didn't do any editing before taking the screen capture. This is a single shot, not a composite photo. And it's all real. None of it is photoshopped in, it's just the beautiful world we live in!
I look forward to sharing the rest of my Valley of Fire State Park photos next week. I'm headed down to Moab today :)