I still use the original photographic capture as the one and only basis for creating art. In other words, with one exception made to satisfy the requirements of a special exhibition, I do not bring additional elements into a work. What the camera saw is what the work will show, albeit in sometimes a wildly different form. This certainly may change – there’s incredible digital art to be created by combining images from multiple sources, and I don’t mean in the least to deride artists for demonstrating expertise in a technique I simply haven’t gotten to. But for now, I work in single images without importing things not there.
The exception is lighting.
Lighting is one of my important tools. Adding lighting in one place can actually take away lighting from another. Emphasis and focus is created. Arguably, I’m not actually adding so much as coaxing light out of the captured pixels – the Lighting Effects command will not bring in something not present, it just reveals what’s there.
In this, Art and the Human Condition seem to merge. All of us are simply captured pixels constrained by our resolution. When we look outside for inspiration, we’re actually looking within. The Kingdom of Heaven is within. Just increase the resolution.
Returning to the work shown in my last blog, which was captured in Antarctica, the astute viewer will look at this new capture and say, “But @DamnPhotoArtist, this is not an Antarctic penguin. This looks more like a species found in the slightly higher latitudes.” I would expect nearly everyone would make the same astute observation. After all, we are not idiots – everyone can identify by name at least a half-dozen different penguin species, for sure. This big guy, see, I captured on my way back. Just go with me on this.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.