Manipulations in Photography, or, Dropped Match

Part of me is just a purist – photography should be straight forward, SOOC, with some – but not a lot of – modifications.  However, blending and layering different images and textures is not something in my repertoire.  I don’t think like that.  I see art that is not realistic as something we do with watercolors or etching, but not with photography.

Left Over from Last Year

And then, now that I have started playing much more with presets in LR or PPS9, I find there are a lot of ways to post process pictures to a point that I like. Faded presets are all the rage now, ones duplicating, or attempting to duplicate, colored images from the past. Over-exposed film, under-exposed film, light leaks, cross processing, faded Kodachrome. There are family photos from the 50s that now look like this.

Left Over from Last Year ii

To me, this is a “normal” bit of post – but layering images to send a message? Looking at the work of different photographic artists, I realize I need to re-think my approach to the merged and blending of images. There is a lot out there that is emotionally appealing and thought-provoking. The voice of the artist can take many forms, but I have never really given too much credence to this in photography, or using photography to move into more creative realms. It’s hard to explain, really.

When I looked at the above photos, I started thinking about how dry our area is, in the third year of a serious drought. Tomorrow, some rain, but California is way behind on its water needs. Countries worldwide are reporting their hottest years – Norway, for one – and California as a state, too. Not good, but we all “know” that there isn’t any global warning . . .

What will this landscape, already barren, look like if it goes up in one of the periodic fires we get? We’ve had several in our area already, one being the Springs Fire that swept through last year, killing animals, damaging environments and narrow ecosystems. This, then, is my thought about a favorite local park, and a dropped match . . .

Dropped Match


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