Yesterday, I picked up the November 2008 Digital Photo magazine, issue 109, which included a CD with an assortment of additional features. I just viewed the two videos from the CD on the subject of creating a panorama in Photoshop. Kingsley Singleton did well introducing Photoshop's auto stitching functions, but what bothered me was his exposure alterations done to darken the sky. Kingsley wanted to bring out greater detail of the clouds, but his method left the sky bright near the horizon and the character of the sky was not carried through to the light reflected from the water in the scene. His resulting image looked pretty, but lacked components characteristic to the physical interaction of light and matter.
A few weeks ago I saw a book on digital photography and Photoshop in particular, I forget the author and title, and every chapter covered techniques to "synthesize" an image, something that I find in just about every book on digital photography. One example was a photo of a women descending stairs combined with a photo of the front of a building to create the look of a photo of the women in front of the building. This theme seems very common, potentially too common, with the contemporary books and magazines on photography.
Can anyone please explain why digital photography has evolved so heavily in this direction ?
I know photo mosaics and composites are not new. I also know that both are essential tools of the trade for advertising photography and come into play often in cinematography. I have also played with photo composites years ago as a child when I was doing analog photography. With the multitude of software tools available, nearly anyone can create what ever they want in a photograph.
In contrast, I tend to lean towards a bit more technical side of photography, as a means to record what I see. In infrared or ultraviolet photography, to record what can't be seen. Likewise, to bring into view the unsean with a telescope used for terrestrial or astronomical photography. Timed or time lapse photography to compress or dilate the passage of time, and panorama photography to permit a view of what was behind the camera. I have never taken any classes in photography and I'm self taught, mostly from a U.S. Naval Photography Training Manual given to me by my father. I also have a life long interest in physics and the study of quantum electrodynamics provides a great insight on the interaction of light and matter. Whether purely technical or for asthetic appreciation, I do have an artistic sence in regard to subject matter and composition. So, I consider my efforts along the lines of illustrative or documentative photography.
I just find it so increadably common for digital photographers to create fantasy photographic images instead of simply documenting the beauty so prevalent in nature.
The views of others will be welcomed.