Comments on the Proper Use of Digital Techniques


Producing and Publishing Images

Digital Imaging nowadays is becoming more well defined as a very precise tool of extremely general application to imaging and images. My use of digital imaging ranges from a simple substitution for the commonest wet darkroom editing and adjustment techniques, to very exotic compositing of images with compositional elements which include multiple photographs, hand drawn and painted material, drawings and paintings made in the computer, and computer-generated graphics, with masking of individual elements, with individual elements and the entire composite subject to elaborate computer graphical manipulation.

My landscapes, trees, and other objects of nature are treated in such manner as to reproduce as closely as possible that which I perceived when I took the original photographs. Since I am scrupulous about reproducing exceedingly fine detail in such images, I composite them to the extent of using multiple film images to extend the range of focus of the image and/or to avoid burned-out highlights and detail-less shadows. Often I will then subject the overall image to some processing to improve balance, sharpness, and attention focus. The result is a natural and true-to-life-appearing image which would have been difficult to produce with ordinary darkroom practices and a single camera shot. See an example of such work by clicking here.

I make a large variety of fantastical images. These usually require a large variety of photographic and digital imaging processing techniques for their production. These result in images which never did or could not exist in reality, but which nonetheless appear as such. See an example of such work by clicking here.

All my images are printed on a large format digital printer, and are the highest quality images within my power to produce.

In resumé, the message here is appropriateness of the application of digital image processing. If one's purpose is to produce a finely-detailed representation of a real object as perceived by the author, one applies only those digital techniques which overcome the substantial limitations of materials, photography, and printing. For images out of the range of reality, or into the realms of art, there is no limit to what can and should be done with digital image processing.

One final observation. Most of the images printed in our media, including magazines and newspapers, are subject to varying degrees of digital processing ranging from the lightest touch to the most heavy-handed. As far as images go, seeing should not be believing.

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