Capturing an image through the use of a device that has a light sensitive sensor. That's the essence of photography. It's easy to think that this is where the discipline begins and ends. Well, it doesn't and many would without hesitation, disagree with me. The purists will go to great lengths to do all of the work in camera to avoid any post processing that would alter the original image. That's all fine and dandy. One very legitimate way compartmentalize things. But it's not the be all, end all way to view photography.
The advent of digital image editing tools has turned this arguably myopic definition on its head. There's no limit to what can be done to an image once it leaves the camera to reside on a phone or a computer. The editing tools today are quite honestly - remarkable. There are extremes however. Using today's image editing technology can transform an image into something completely indistinguishable from its original state. It's a blessing and a curse to many. Purists lament and the progressive camera jockeys rejoice.
My journey as a professional photographer has uncovered a broad spectrum of possibilities when it comes to post processing. I tend to be much more on the progressive side of the spectrum as you can clearly see on my site. I strive to thoughtfully capture an image and perform enhancements that make it a bit larger than life. I do this to inspire and delight people who appreciate this style of photography. Yes, it's an art form.
When I start a project, I try to frame up the possibilities around a shoot long before I press the shutter button. What mood do I want to create? What emotions do I want to evoke from people who ultimately view it? Once I have answers to these two important questions, I set about working with cropping, light, shadow, tonality, texture, detail. And yes, I layer in additional elements to complete the look that I am trying to achieve.
In the end, I want each image that I create to be more reminiscent of a painting than a photo. The image that I capture is the foundation for my creative endeavors. But only to the extent that they enhances the original image vs overshadowing it. A very delicate balance indeed.
So I am absolutely a believer in photography as an art form. My career is based on this very premise. And I will do my best to create stunning visuals that invite viewers to explore the depths of my creations and appreciate the wonder of it all. That is the very essence of an art form now isn't it. :)