The Great Transition

By Dean Webb

The low light angle of the sun in winter produces spectacular evening images of the desert and of the adjacent foothills. The back light on plants light-up, as if touched by fire as the sun reaches the horizon.

Try wide angle lenses from 28 mm and wider through fish-eye. Take a light meter reading, with the sun just out of the frame, and use that reading for your basic exposures. Also, try one stop on either side. One image should explode in light and color.

At the end of the twentieth century, photography had evolved into an accepted art form, a mirror of society, and a faithful recorder of events. As some attempt to create fine art with the aid of it, others see it as a means to inform the world of global ecological devastation.

Digital images from the moon and mars, and utilization of NASA technology have led to digital cameras that represent 75 percent of new camera sales. In this setting, photographers still seek to gain acceptance of their work as something more than documentation.

An amateur photographer with an understanding of the merits of a good photograph, and the effect of different light sources, can create magnificent images that excel over prints that were made at great expense only a few short years ago.

We are in the midst of a great transition, one that may take more than a decade to reach maturity. Beyond the routine of printed pictures of family and friends sent over the Internet, there is a much more active industry in graphic arts that utilizes artist’s skills, familiarity with computer operations, and the ability to produce advertising products, entertainment media, and every imaginable form of information communication.

It seems there is nothing impossible to depict. If we can imagine it, someone can make a picture of it. Beyond creating scenic pictures of such things as nature, animals, seascapes, etc., there are rewards to be found in creating abstracts and graphic art. For example, the filter tools in Adobe Photoshop can be used to great advantage to create colorful images that fascinate the viewer.


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