Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Photography Principle

The more popular digital photography has become, the more digital editing software has improved, the easier it has become to be sloppy with photography. Over the years, I have taken plenty of photographs of questionable quality. I have had folders full of out-of-focus, too dark, or too bright images, and I have used photo-editing software to save some. I am grateful for that. However, when I find an image takes too much correction, I always stop and ask myself, if it is just better to move on.

I cannot profess to be one of those old-time film photographers who once "did it all" manually, and I have never developed my own roll of film. I got my start when digital was in its infancy, with a camera resolution of 640x480 pixels. But from the very start, I have held on to one guiding principle for every image. My goal, no matter what the subject, is always to "Get it right the first time." Above all things, I want each image to not need any photo editing at all.

Pastureland
Polaroid PDC 640
9-6-2000

Pastureland, Lakeland, Florida


I believe there is a limit to what should be done to a photograph. If I were being totally honest, I would admit I don't really like HDR images, which are all the rage right now. I find they lack the reality that makes a photograph unique and interesting. Digital art notwithstanding, over-editing is, for the photographer, a bad habit to get into.

One Foggy Morning
Ricoh RDC-7
11-6-2000

One Foggy Morning


I am most pleased when my photographs can stand on their own. This means I knew what to do, and I chose correctly. But if I find an image needs some post-editing, my second highest principle is to keep the photograph as genuine as I can. I am never trying to remove the naturalness of the subject or to create something that could not have been there. A well edited photograph will not look like it was edited.

No, for me, being able to to produce the best exposure with the best composition, staying true to the authenticity of the subject, and using only the camera's inherent abilities is what is the most rewarding.

Green Anole on Heavenly Bamboo
Ricoh RDC-7
1-15-2001

Green Anole on Heavenly Bamboo



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Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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