What was I thinking? The new face of photography.

by imageguy

When digital photography first appeared I was determined to remain steadfast and loyal to film. The cameras were either poor quality or incredibly expensive. Today the technology is better and the costs have come down. And I have abandoned film entirely as have many photographers. Some of today’s kids will never even know what film was. I had already given up my darkroom years ago. Kodachrome was my friend. But it was expensive to process and you had to develop everything, sight unseen. You might spend the costs to develop a roll of slides only to end up with just a few you were really happy with. And then there was the cataloging and storage and projectors or light tables to view them. What was I thinking?

Digital has not only freed me to shoot all I want, see what I like as I do it, and make corrections on the spot, so I end up with more images to keep. It has the instant gratification of Polaroid. And the ease of storage and retrieval with today’s software, DVD’s, big hard drives, and metadata make life so much easier. What was I thinking?

color shoes

color shoes art

It has created a world of photographers and image makers from the entire population. With camera phones, 10 megapixel point and shoots, email and photo storage sites on the web, it seems everyone is taking, saving, exchanging, and sharing pictures. And the film industry is fading into obsolescence.

One of the most amazing changes for me is the ability to experiment with my pictures. To make photo art.

toronto orig

toronto art

Thank you Adobe for bringing us Photoshop! Today I can do at my computer in a matter of minutes what would have taken hours, maybe days, in the darkroom, with costly chemistry and paper and a lot of wasted material through trial and error. Not to mention repeatability! There’s conversions from color to black and white, split toning, solarization, posterization, soft focus and color reversal and stitching. There’s sketching and watercolors and blur and stretch and warp and liquefy. There’s filters and actions and plug-ins galore. It’s an amusement park of imagery and design. And I haven’t even scratched the surface.

giraffe orig

giraffe art

These images show a before and after. The original and the new creation. And these are mild compared to the things people are doing with this program. I learn something new every week and it just keeps coming. It’s creative madness and I wish I was retired so I could do this every day.

tulip orig

tulip art
The first image is the original unaltered capture, either raw, tiff, or jpg. I don’t often show these since most images need at least a little adjustment to levels or saturation, something to perk them up. The next image is after working some photoshop magic.

fireworks orig

beach houses

fireworks art

Some images offer options for various treatments. The first alteration here of the bike photo is from an action called Retro. The next is a Sketch action applied to the Retro image.

bike orig

bike retro

bike sketch

Toned black and white conversions in Photoshop are so much easier than what I used to go through in the darkroom. Here, even split toning or a slight hand colored look is easy to achieve. The bridge and spring trees is accomplished by using a single color channel that is turned into a selection and then colorized for tone.

colgate bridge

colgate bridge b&w


pots art

chairs and bench

chairs and bench art

Some images lend themselves well to the feel of painted graphics or the look of print making techniques. This image has been posterized to appear to look like a serigraph.

Copper Beech

copper beech art

This photo took on the effect of watercolor painting very successfully.

seaside tables

seaside chairs art

Here an action that simulates a comic book illustration is applied.


collegetown comic

The possibilities are endless and the creative stimulation fueled by new discoveries leads to unexpected art. Every image has some potential. It has changed the way I look at photography forever opening new avenues with each creation session. Photography has a new face. Thank you Adobe.

alys beach

alys beach art

All Images are Copyright © George Cannon, All Rights Reserved
Except the Giraffe photo which is Copyright © Tessa Cannon.