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 Post subject: Arty or Real?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:32 pm 
Hello folks,

I have a question i have been thinking about for some time. Wonder if you guys have the answer.

For wildlife shots, most of what I have seen are more like 'documentary' style or 'journalist' style shots, meaning they are not processed much except maybe some slight levels and white balance adjustments, sort of like photos you see in the newspaper.

I love taking wildlife photos, but I like creating the pictures with a little bit more processing, kinda 'arty' for lack of a better term. But I don't see those kinda pictures often.

So I wanted to know if wildlife pics are generally considered more 'straight out of the camera style' or are 'arty' looking wildlife pics also popular. Is what I describe called fine art prints/ fine art photography??

I am confused here. Can anyone shed some light on this? And no, you don't need to thank me for being vague :oops:


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 5:06 am
Posts: 1977
Personally I think they both have a place. When it comes to images you see in print in wildlife mags they definately lean to straight out of the camera realistic shots. I too prefer this style but that being said...

There is nothing like PPing some pics to give them that artsy look... I went through many phases of this early on and still like tweeking the odd one here and there when I am bored and cant get out shooting. The ones I have actually printed and framed for my home all have some kind of flaire to them done in PP with the exception of 3 or 4.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a few of us like our pics to look really natural for whatever reason and to accomplish this we do some drastic PP in the process. I've taken street signs, telephone posts, billboards, cars, boats, planes, jet trails, roads and countless other things out of pics to eliminate that "human" content. Although these pics may look natural in reality they are some of the most heavily PPed pics I have done... thankfully I dont do it too often though as I would much rather be taking the pics than sitting in front of a computer.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:18 am
Posts: 1781
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Nature is beautiful all on it's own.
A nice clear crisp morning with a slight mist coming off some water and a Canada goose or a few taking wing appearing to be running on the water.
A deer standing in snow on a frosty morning with it's breath flaring from it's nostrils and frost on his whiskers....

What could one add to that to improve it?
The real trick is to nail the pic quick,these subjects won't take direction on a second shot or take over.
Keep it as real as you can but never rule anything out completely.
Like wolf says,theres always rainy/cloudy days to "play"

Looking fwd to some shots santhosh.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:52 pm
Posts: 579
Location: Scotland
Have a look at some of these shots from the Natural History Museums Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition.

Black and White ... 49&group=1

Creative Visions of Nature ... 50&group=1

This photographer seems to mix some "straight" shots with post processed images.

Personally I think photography is a creative art so if your intent is to document something then documentary style is what you should aim for, if on the other hand you intend to be more artistic then this is the type of result you should aim for.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:33 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 832
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Previous posters are all basically comes down to you as a photographer - what your interest is, what vision you want to capture, and what you want others to see. Everyone's different, so some may go more natural, others more artsy, others more processed artsy.

For me, I do a ton of bird and wildlife photography - my own personal taste leans towards natural captures with less processing. But that doesn't have to mean not artsy...much of the 'art' of nature photography that is presented without as much processing is capturing the lighting, the mood, the pose, controlling the background blur, composition, leading lines, and looking for complimentary colors. There is still art in the capture, but it is just being done while taking the shot and not as much after the shot.

When I started wildlife and bird photography, my captures were mostly trying to get sharp, in focus shots of birds in natural conditions - I didn't really think about shallowing the depth of field, worrying about light and shadowplay, watching the lines of the branches in the composition, looking for complimentary color pairs, or catching special poses or movements. That developed over the years after I was satisfied the documentary-side had been covered - I captured most of the birds in my area, and wanted to see what I could do to improve the shots, or capture more of a 'National Geographic' style shot (they've always gone beyond simple Audubon-like documentation photos, and taken their nature shots into the artistic realm). I'll never approach NG's unbelievable beauty and artistry, but I can aspire to it and mimic it to the best of my abilities, and that's what makes me keep going back out there and constantly try to get better results.

Nothing wrong with processing after the shot too, or going for real heavily processed looks - that's all just your choice and vision as the artist. There's certainly no right or wrong - if you want to document birds to track species you've spotted, capture artistic natural shots of birds, or create art from shots of birds in post-processing...whatever speaks to your vision and what you want to present to your viewers!

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