Friday, January 17, 2014

What Would Ansel Do?

I feel that one of my responsibilities when showing and sharing my work is to educate viewers about what they are seeing.

On "Second Saturday" this past weekend, I was asked the exact same question by three different people: "Did you do something to these photographs?" My answer is "I did quite a few things to these images". It use to be easier. I would explain my hand coloring technique and most would walk away satisfied and happy that they had noticed something was different about the print.

These days however, it's a little more complicated. Some pieces have been hand colored, some digitally processed and now I have my iPhone work on display as well.

The other night I found myself telling the story of how Ansel Adams dramatically altered his negatives in the darkroom.       Most people were surprised to hear this.

(c) James Alinder
Jim recounts Ansel describing these photos, “The print on the left is a straight image. No dodging and burning. This is what Ansel saw on that November afternoon in 1941. And the print on the right is what he felt.” -  (This is from an article entitled: "Remembering Ansel Adams....")

My favorite part of that quote is "the print on the right is what he felt".

Here is what I saw Thursday morning:

This is what I felt:

©2014 Dianne Poinski

I know one photographer who explains that he is not a "photo journalist" but instead a "photo illustrator".  

Art is about expressing your vision..... not recording what is in front of you. Not that long ago I felt a little guilty about the fact I "did things" to my images.  Not anymore.........

This topic has been discussed here before, but it's been on my mind since Saturday, so I thought I would share.