How My Images Were Created

It could be asked to what extent my images on this site are truthful. I would answer that if you had stood next to my camera at the moment of exposure you would absolutely have recognised the scene in front of you as being the same scene shown here on nightfolio. However, that is not to say that I have not changed the raw images that were initially recorded on the film or camera sensor.

I trained in a film darkroom, and have routinely applied the same kind of edits that would have been possible there to my images here on this website. I have freely edited the images in terms of colour balance, colour intensity and contrast. I have locally removed dust spots, guano streaks, aeroplane trails and film scratches. Where there is grass surrounding my main subject, I have also often removed random distracting marks from this. However, I have never added details to my photographs. Nor have I combined details from different scenes to create new (and in my view dishonest) composite images:

A recurring problem I have come across in using fast lenses on digital sensors is a restricted depth of focus, so that a foreground subject cannot be rendered clearly at the same time as the distant sky. In such cases I have often made two identical exposures of the same scene, one focussed on the foreground, and another on the background. The sharpest elements of these two exposures are then layer masked together to form one unified and completely sharp image. I do not regard such focus stacking as fakery, more a legitimate correction to inherent limitations in the photographic process.

None of my images are the product of artificial intelligence, all are location photographs made by me with a camera, then digitally edited by me using my own skill and judgment. I believe that my attitude to digital manipulation is similar to that expressed by G Dan Mitchell in his 2013 post on

"If we present ourselves as artists who are able to see and create artistic work based on things of beauty in the real world, we hope that those who see our work will believe that it is honest. (And "honest" is not the same as "perfect objective analog" .....).  In other words, they look at our work and trust that the place shown, the light under which the photograph was made, the conjunction of seemingly miraculous elements, and our vision are connected to real experiences and things and places. They can and should accept and even expect that we take steps to enhance and optimize the presentation of the images so that they will be effective as photographs or as photographic prints, but they presume that we enhance more than we invent. In fact, I think that many of us - even those of us who are perfectly happy to optimize images in these rather common ways - believe that we are presenting "subjectively truthful" images of things. Viewers grant us trust that our vision is special and that we see in the real world things that others might miss and that we see them in ways that others might not share."