The End Result is All That Matters

There’s been a bit of a storm lately about photographer Steve McCurry, best known for his National Geographic portrait of a young Afghan Girl. Here’s a link to it.

I’m a big fan of Steve McCurry’s work and I was disappointed to see his rebuttal, which most of us find hard to believe. Here’s a link to Steve McCurry’s web page.

In my opinion, the finished image is all that matters. It doesn’t matter how you got there. However, being that you are presenting a photograph and photographs tend to represent what was in front of the camera, if that was altered, you should say so.

Like Steve, I became a photographer in the day where any serious retouching of a photograph was so expensive that for most of us it was prohibitive. Only photographs used in national ads had the budgets for that kind of retouching.

So we learned that if you didn’t get it in the camera, you didn’t get it. I love photography and I love using a camera so I readily embraced these constraints. The better craftsman I was with a camera, the more chance I had of making good images.

I still approach my photography this way. If an image doesn’t work for me, I don’t look at what I could add or what I could move or remove. I just go on to the next image.

I’m pretty competent with doing what I want in Photoshop, but I’m not interested in doing those kinds of alterations. I’d rather be outside with my camera.

My wife, on the other hand, was a competent Photoshop artist before she seriously picked up a camera, so unlike me she is up for any kind of processing that would make the photo better. Is one approach any better than the other? Only the final images can answer that question.

In the above image, I removed a couple of stray and distracting grass fronds from the lower right. I’ve been known to soften the focus on areas if I feel it helps the image, but I didn’t have to do that here. I chose the good F Stop to take care of that.

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~ by danbaumbach on May 9, 2016.

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