This is a question I often ask myself. I suppose it could be either, just depends on my mood when I’m behind the computer going over my collection of images.
As you can see from the image above, this started out as a photo, but ended up something else. Reality doesn’t look this way. When I opened the original image I thought about converting it to black and white, one of my favorite things to do with images from the Ghost Town of Bodie. As I started to work with this photo I changed my mind, and started adding textures instead. After that I applied the blurring and vignette and really liked the results.
Here’s the original, as it came out of the camera with the exception of conversion from RAW and resizing. Not bad, but not great either. I did this with my Olympus E-M5 and Olympus 17mm lens pressed up close the the window of one of the old houses at Bodie.
Looking at the original I thought it had some potential. I understand there are all kinds of thoughts out there about workflow. Some of those thoughts and ideas are probably great, but to be honest I don’t pay much attention to them. I guess you could see that as closed minded, but I prefer to do my own thing, and it works for me. So, that’s where I started and just kind of let things flow. My main tool is Photoshop, and I have a few add ons that I like to use if they make sense at the time. One of them is OnOne Perfect Effects. Using both of those tools and trying different things allows me to take what started as a photo and hopefully turn it into something more. Is it art? Hard to say. It probably depends on who’s looking at it. I think Ansel Adams said it best, “Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art”.
In closing let me say this, go out and take some photos. That’s only the starting point. Try something new and see where your creative vision takes you! Maybe you’ll transform your photos into art!
Until next time, Happy Shooting!