GRAPHIC DESIGN, MUSIC, QUOTES

Catchin’ Up

It’s been awhile. Have a lot of great things to write about:

THE ALBUM:

Four Tet’s There Is Love In You

After much anticipation (I’ve recently commented on an interview with Kieran Hebden and a glowing review of his new album), I’ve purchased There Is Love In You, Four Tet’s newest album.

Since the Ringer EP, he’s definitely moved from organic towards more electronic sounds, focusing heavily on hypnotic builds. Some are pleasing (Plastic People), some are challenging (Sing), some beautiful (She Just Likes To Fight).

THE DEBATE:

Photo Manipulation

In a recent issue of Outside magazine, an article was dedicated to photo manipulation – enhancing or altering photos in post-production (the online version is here). It claims that these techniques are

bad for photography and even worse for our concept of reality.

Now, I could go on about the existence of “reality,” which is a purely subjective concept, in my opinion. But more importantly, this article was highly engaging because it reaffirmed my belief that manipulating photos can be a good thing. Hell, it can be a beautiful thing.

I will often bring a shot into Photoshop not just to enhance colours or sharpen the image, but to enhance it’s mood. With layer styles and other techniques, I love altering the picture to bring it closer to what I was trying to capture in that moment, closer even than the original shot accomplished. I think of this as a type of painting; the original shot is the prepared canvas. (Photoshop is not a Great Image Creator, by the way. I have learned that in order to satisfyingly enhance a photo, the original must be strong already.)

Outside, an adventure travel mag, doesn’t want to mislead their readers. I applaude them for that. But the blanket statement that post production techniques are “bad” is weak; it ignores the beautiful possibilities. And really, isn’t photography an alteration of “reality” anyway? Our eyes don’t see the world like a camera lens…

THE QUOTE:

From the same issue of Outside, Chris Anderson describes this shot:

I took this picture (of petrified stowaways) the moment we realized we were sinking… That I could die here hadn’t registered until this moment. All I could do was take photographs as a reflex, a way to deal with my fear… It made me understand that taking photographs is as much about explaining the world to myself as it is about explaining it to other people.

More to come…

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