Friday, December 3, 2010

Wise Words From a Wise Man

I have often thought about the whole realm of commenters online, and it makes me crazy. I don't have to deal with it personally, as this little blog of mine is very obscure, but I know that many people out there do deal with this on a daily basis. There are negative haters the world over.

You could post a funny video of a cute kitten and there will be more then a few people who hate it and bash it. That's the thing with the internet, the anonymity brings out the worst in people, and they'll say the most negative things just because they can. It'll never stop. I understand that there is always room for opinion and debate, but it is so often directed personally at people, turning opinion into insult.

So why would a beautiful post on a very public forum, boasting HDR photography receive over 200 comments, many of which simply putting down the art-form as unaccepted and unrealistic? Of course, art will always be a matter of opinion, but that's what makes it interesting. Art is subjective. So why all the hate?

Anyway, this very impersonal rant of mine is simply because I wanted to share some wise words from a very wise man I know: my boyfriend.

HDR photo by Shayne Gray

So funny how people get so bent out of shape and borderline offended by HDR.

In the mid-1800's Gustave Le Gray (and others-see works by Oscar Gustave Rejlander for example) put negatives together to produce a single image. He overexposed for the water (with blown out sun and sky), then underexposed for the sun/sky (with water clipped in dark shadow). People have been debating the integrity and validity of these techniques ever since. 150 years later...here we are still mud-slinging over the very same issue!

funny that....

I personally think that HDR can definitely be overdone, though I think it can be a very cool effect when used "properly". But even if it isn't...why should we argue about it? Even if it's totally unrealistic...someone created that image because it was interesting to them. I think that should be valid enough whether I like it or not. If I'm a photographer why should I have to depict things exactly as they are? On the one hand, HDR can help us get closer to the dynamic range our eye sees, though it's still a long way off. On the other hand even if it's "unreal" or unbelievable, we can think of it as taking something out of nature and creating something new just as many other art forms do.

Other visual artists strayed from realism long ago, and despite heated debate, it has become now more widely accepted to paint vertical and horizontal lines filling the boxes with red, yellow and blue. So why should this not be accepted in photography?

Does a musician have to mimic the sound of the wind in the trees?

And speaking of music, if I don't like...say...Brittany Spears...what difference does it make if I publicly say how terrible I think her music is? Lots of other people seem to like it. I can still have my opinion and others who like it can have theirs - really it's a moot point to argue whether it should be there or not....

Does "the overuse have to end"? If I don't like...I won't look at it. When Brittany Spears comes on the radio...I'm well within my right to change the channel!

This really is an interesting topic and the discussion could go on all day. I'll try and post a discussion within the week for anyone who's interested at: www.shaynegraylearnsphotography.blogspot.com

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