Photo Title: Field of Dreams
Equipment Used: Nikon D70 & 50mm f/1.4D AF Nikkor lens
Technical Details: from EXIF data
- Shutter Speed: 10/80000 sec
- Aperture: f/1.4
- Exposure Program: Aperture priority
- Focal Length: 50mm
- Flash: did not fire
- Metering Mode: pattern
Notes: One thing I don't get to do a lot of (or at least not as often as I'd like) in the type of photography I shoot for work, is create one-of-a-kind images. Don't get me wrong...I know some photographers who would jump at the chance to argue this point, claiming every image they shoot is a unique work of art, and I'm not discrediting that. To a degree, I believe that as well---you could drop 20 photographers in the same spot, photographing the same subject, and receive 20 different images. But there's a substantial difference in shooting an image 10,000 other photographers could come close to replicating (especially if they were standing in your shoes) versus creating something new: a digital work of art so unique that no one could ever quite replicate it, at least not easily. A digital work that's intimate, elusive and haunting in nature---a photo manipulated so delicately, from a place so deep within your soul, that your instinct tells you to keep it hidden and protected despite it being your gift to the world.
I think this desire, to create haunting, elusive, intimate images lurks inside every photographer. We call it creative voice or artistic vision. But we take that notion one step further when we start creating with a dreamer's eye. I say if you can dream it...you can shoot it, manipulate it, and create entirely new works of art. And that's the place I long to linger...the world I want to dive into and wrap my arms around, soaking up every last ounce of possibility and potential from its great and infinite depths.
Some digital artists excel at this, as you'll see here, and here, and here. I'm far from that level of digital mastery & photo manipulation and to be honest, I'm not sure I'll ever want to (or need to) take it to that level of extremism. Those artists are on a different plane, and I admire them for it. What I am comfortable with, at least for now, is manipulating the type of images I enjoying shooting (flowers, landscapes, people...generally anything outdoors) and bending it just enough so that it resembles reality, but not too closely. Think of it like images look in dreams---real, but not quite. Something is different, and somehow that makes it better than real. It's surreal. That's what I'm after. The artful bending of reality, where fact and fantasy fight it out in some strange but beautiful hallucination. That's what I long to create, day after photography-filled day.
Think about that the next time you pick up your camera body, choose a lens, or open Photoshop: What lingers in your soul to create? What is it you, as an artist, have left unsaid? What would you spend your time doing, or shooting, if money were no object? What reality do you long to bend?