Take a Photo – Make a Picture

The word “photography” was created from the Greek roots φωτός (phōtos), genitive of φῶς (phōs), “light” and γραφή (graphé) “representation by means of lines” or “drawing”, together meaning “drawing with light” – or “painting with light”. As drawing and painting are used not only for accurate reproduction but as an art form to represent creativity, visions, ideas and much more, this applies to photography as well. And here is where it starts: to make a picture from a plain photo.

Old House

Old House – an old house near Lake Lucerne. The picture on the right is assembled from 5 different exposures, cropped and tone mapped

Out of the camera, a photo shows a two dimensional version of what you have seen. Imagine that if you look at a photo, it helps you to recall your feelings, your mood, how it smelled there… all the impressions you had  when you were at that location. If someone else looks at the same photo, all the impressions are missing – all one sees is colors and shapes. But a picture is much more: it should connect the viewer to something, give an impression, wake some feelings… bring him to the place you want to show.

There are many people convinced that in real photography the picture has to be perfect right out of the camera and that any modifications should not be needed. One argument is that in the analog times, it was like that and no post processing was done either. WRONG! In the times, when photos got to paper in a dark, dimly red lit room, the artist was doing more than only a copy from the film: The picture was cropped, straightened, bright parts were partially darkened with a feather, chemicals were added for color effects, double exposure, etc. A bunch of tricks, which helped to make the picture perfect or alter it to the wishes of the photographer. Even adding or removing subjects to or from a picture was done – just in a more manual way (double exposure or with the help of a scalpel).
So what is the change? The photos are bits and bytes instead of film and all the hardware tools needed in the past moved to software. And they got manifold. If there is a saw, you don’t cut the tree with a rock just because it was done this way in the far past. We use the tools we know to get the result we want.

If you browse through the pictures on my site, you will quickly realize that I process all of my photos. This is not because I’m not satisfied with what the photo shows – but because I want to create a mood. I try to find a way to get you into the picture I create, yet try to reproduce some of the impressions I had when taking the photo- even create something completely new from my fantasy and with the photo I have. This is a creative process and it’s only limited by my imagination and the tools I have available (or I’m able to use).

Over the Roofs

Over the Roofs – A snapshot from a a visit in Riomaggiore, Italy. The picture on the right is assembled from 5 different exposures, cropped and tone mapped

The photo is what the eye receives – the picture is what the mind creates.

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