Monday, July 19, 2010

Butterflies and un-retouched photography

See, here's the thing: when does "photography" end and "computer skill" begin? There are so many programs to "enhance" photos nowadays, how do we know when a photo is just that; a photo and not someone's idealized image from a photograph? By that I mean, when does the art of photography turn into skill at an editing program such as Photoshop? If you are putting a photo out "there" to be enjoyed as a photograph, shouldn't it be just that? I have been playing with my camera (not an expensive Nikon by any means) to take the best photos I can, not relying on cropping or any other manipulation. I know that I am probably going to irk some people who love their Photoshop and I am not saying that there isn't a use for manipulation software, but if I enter a photo contest then it should be judged on the photo and the photographer's skill at using the camera and not on their skill on the computer. Here's my unsolicited advice: if your picture is out of focus take another one, and another one until it's in focus. That's camera work. Why bother having an ultra-expensive camera if you can just make it look "great" on the computer? My husband actually found a site (or program?) where it's possible to make a photograph from images. That's taking manipulation of photos to a whole other level!
Anyway, off my soapbox................ that being said, here are a couple of photos (un-retouched) that I snapped of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail:
And Spicebush Swallowtail:

Thanks to my big sister for identifying them for me! We used to help her catch butterflies when we were much younger so she could mount them for her collection so I knew she could tell me what kind they were!


  1. i agree completely! photos are photos. manipulated images are manipulated images. i don't even have photoshop any more (PC vs. mac didn't translate), but when i did--the alterations were for photos i wanted to use for fabric art. The EGE's actual photos are just that: actual photos.

    i'm with you--let's keep the distinction!

  2. Thank you! I enjoy trying to take the best possible photos with what I have: the rewards are worth the time and patience. How many butterfly pics did I take? A bazillion........LOL