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On Photography: Part Three

This may simply be an artifact of not yet ascending to the necessary competence or artistic particularity, but I do not enjoy editing photographs.

I do almost all my little fixes with Picasa. I have attempted and discarded GIMP and though I recently and finally bought Photoshop Elements I find just thinking about it either exasperates me or puts me to sleep. To put it mildly, I hate it. Just as I hate Nikon Capture which I bought to complement my Nikon.

Love taking pictures, and doing in camera effects but have no patience for editing after. And the odd thing is I love text editing and very much enjoy whiling away hours fiddling with website code (always hated Dreamweaver and any “time saving” software though) but when it comes to photo editing I just cannot make the leap. I just watched a layers tutorial and it was all I could do to keep my eyes open.

I just want to take great pictures.

Though I realize this is a limitation of mine, it also delineates something about photography. Is the worth of the final image in the taking or the editing? I suppose you could say both. (This unease and distaste for editing may also arise from my dislike of the trend of hyperreal photography; I cannot stand punched up landscape which to me says that the photographer has no appreciation of subtle coloration (a famous example is Galen Rowell whose work I find tends to the garish). I am very much attracted to the capturing a real moment, and not creating it, not photoshopping the better sky into the picture.)

Despite those feelings, I am quite aware that some photographs I have found quite moving would not have existed but for editing software. But the thing is, when you take a photograph it is a slice of your existence on this planet…you were there and this is what you saw. When you edit you can go to the place where it does not really matter if you took the source picture at all. (And again I will profess to more confusion or contradiction in that I cannot imagine writing being much good without some editing).

For me, photography is like having another set of eyes and memory to catch the world with.

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