• August 28, 2014

    A view about the View

    Image of my camera and shadow of Lift

    I'm elevated here at about 19 feet. Does it make the image any better?

    Yesterday I rented the 2nd lift this month. I do this to explore more options when shooting & to give the client more of a choice. But does getting a higher vantage make for a better photo? I understand that question is completely subjective. But what I've noticed repeatedly in my 8 years of professional photography, the average person who knows nothing about photography would say "yes, it does." I always get the presumption, "you must shoot aerials, if you shoot buildings." NO! There's some notion among most that to photograph something from above is superior to photographing something from the ground. Maybe this comes from the notion that on top of a building or mountain we as humans can always see more. But in photography more is not always equal to better. More can actually take away from the strength of the subject photographed. For example, what's on top of most commercial buildings? HVAC units, pipes, conduit, communication devices. It's hard to imagine these features help a commercial photograph of a building. And lastly my argument for not getting higher when shooting, how many of us see an iconic building, mountain, car, actor, model, tree, etc. from above? That's because so many things we see on daily basis is from the ground perspective. This is what we are accustom to seeing. Out of all the perspectives photographers can shoot, an elevated perspective is the least effective. (IN MY OPINION) Generally speaking, and many times photos taken from above, detach the viewer of the photo from the subject in the photo. As you can see I'm pretty opinionated on this highly controversial topic!

  • July 31, 2014

    Where are we going?

    Before and after- one front street

    Photos are getting retouched so well they could look like renderings, renderings are looking so real they look like photos.

    In 1994 this image would have looked like the one you see on the right. Harsh shadows, blown out highlights, environmental distractions. In fact, when my client asked me to reshoot their building it had been this long since the last shoot. With the power of retouching an image, we can make imperfections disappear or appear. The new images looks 100 times better than the one from 1994. But does that take away from the legitimacy of the photo? Can you even call it a “photo”? Where’s this photography thing all going? I’ve pondered this in my field. Are we retouching the photos so much they look like renderings? Are the renderings getting so real they look like photos? Which technology is going to win out? I’m not sure. But maybe the answer lies in where the power of photography started. It’s ability to freeze a single point in time that can’t be predicted/replicated by technology. But is there any commercial value in a good but “dated” photo? I’m having a hard time thinking of one.

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