In the movie, The Deer Hunter, Robert DeNiro and his friends take an annual hunting trip to hunt for deer. DeNiro’s character is a purist . . . a real hard case when it comes to hunting. He believes that the hunter must be able to kill his prey with one shot or the hunter should not take the shot. It is more of a sin to wound the animal than it is to miss the animal. It is one shot or nothing. I am that way when it comes to photography.
I love my digital camera. I take lots of pictures . . . lots of pictures. I love to drive and hike around the area of Montana where I live. I love to photograph the birds that frequent the bird feeders in our yard. I take hundreds . . . thousands of pictures . . . in the hope that I get at least one that is worthy of sharing with other people. In all of the years that I have been taking photographs I have never . . . ever . . . photo shopped a picture.
First of all, I do not own a photo shop program. True, with each camera I have bought, there has been a photo shop program that has come with it; but, I have never downloaded the programs. I have never purchased a photo shop program . . . mostly because I am too cheap and, because I do not believe in them. Photo shopping seems like false advertising to me.
Second of all, who can improve what is already there. If God created it as I see and photograph it . . . who am I to attempt to improve it? I sometimes wonder if God gets a little grumpy when we humans attempt to improve whatever is there and created by God. I know that I do not appreciate it when people change what I have written or taken a photograph of. Makes me wonder . . . what is God’s tolerance level?
I like to take pictures . . . and, I take a lot of them . . . probably close to five hundred or so a week. There is so much out there in God’s creation to take pictures of . . . God is pretty artistic if you ask me . . . so, I had better be taking pictures of what I see. And . . . I do. I take a lot of pictures. It takes a lot of pictures to get one good one . . . one shot . . . no doctoring . . . no photo shopping. That is what I strive for every time I take a picture.
I guess I like to deal with reality.
Years ago, the rock group Styx had an album titled The Grand Illusion that was based on the premise that the lives that people lived were based on an illusion that was created by others . . . primarily, though they did not say it, Wall Street and its advertisers. People were not living in reality. When people photo shop pictures are they not changing reality? Are they not creating an illusion?
Years ago I had the opportunity to meet Margo Kidder. Yeah, the Margo Kidder who played Lois Lane in the Superman movies with Christopher Reeves. It was a couple of months after her unfortunate episode with her bi-polar disease. The woman I met did not add up to the woman that I had in my mind . . . reality was more severe than the photo shopped version that Hollywood had tried to sell me. I was not disappointed in this down to earth individual, but I was upset that it had shattered what I thought was real. That is the problem that I have with photo shopping.
Photo shopping in life is all around us. What we see is not always the reality. Be careful out there . . . one shot, one honest real shot, says more than any photo that has been altered to be more appealing. Yeah, I believe that . . . and, my photos prove that. If it was good enough for God the first time . . . it is good enough for me.