The Creative Vision Hoax in Nature Photography

“The Creative Vision Hoax in Nature Photography”

New Jersey Fine Art Photography

A small aperture and dark exposure helps frame the morning sun striking the Jersey Shore.

I just got done flipping through another recent article in a photography magazine (name omitted to protect the guilty).  In my estimation 80%-90% of photography periodicals, videos, and websites are rehashing the same post-processing principles that have been discussed ad nauseam since the early 2000’s.  In the meantime, they are beating the dead horse on composition and exposure techniques that have been documented and discussed for at least 50 years.

My pet peeve is writings on the topic of “creative vision”.  When shooters and authors mention creative vision, what they generally mean is taking the liberty to pull as many sliders in Lightroom as possible.  Making the image looking wholly unnatural, yet justifying that their “eyes saw it that way”.  I concur that there are no rules to art or photography, but to claim that the sky above the Earth is regularly the color of pure cyan or that the human eye views clouds with intense tonal gradations is nonsense.  Modern age photographers should absolutely use all technology available to them, but they should do so with full disclosure.

Instead of stating my “creative vision” saw the scene this way, why not phrase it more accurately?

“I thought I could spice it up by adding intense contrast using software plug-ins.”

“The straight out of camera shot would receive little attention so I tried to improve it.”

“I use heavy post-processing on my photos to get more views on social media.”

The integrity of the field of photography is better preserved when we are honest about our techniques.  “Creative Vision” “Marketing Vision” and “Post Processing Tools” are different concepts.  You can fool some of the people some of the time…

Words and photo by Dave Blinder.

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