A friend recently told me that over the last 18 months my landscape images were beginning to look more like paintings and less like real photographs.
An interesting comment as around then I made a conscious decision to entertain my artistic side more and not to worry about the commercial saleability of my images.
Back then I started a couple of personal projects that I knew would be of little interest to buyers of commercial images such as advertising agencies and graphic designers.
The photographs are made to look good on a wall but in turn have little application in brochures or business promotion.
My ongoing interest in those projects is not to show the reality of a scene but to depict what I saw and what it felt like to me to be there. Hence the images are highly subjective and not aimed to be a true representation of reality as someone else would see it.
Even so, my images hold a strong sense of the reality that was there when I photographed. To achieve this my images tend to be pretty close to the final result in camera.
I give most photographs limited post-production treatment and aim to finish within 10 to 15 minutes from opening a RAW file. Often images never get beyond the basic RAW adjustments in Lightroom – brilliant software – and very few see Photoshop.
In many ways this is no different to the work we used to do in the wet darkroom, although we now have many more basic adjustments in the digital darkroom.
I tend to put high emphasis on the lighting and colour/tonal range within a scene. Maybe this is part of the reason for the more painterly look of some of my recent work.