Hard Man

For some time now I’ve been interested expanding my photography to include more creative post processing. The idea that a photograph must only be what is captured by the camera is a ridiculous notion. Perhaps it made sense in the days of analog photography because serious post processing in a darkroom required a level of skill that few casual hobbyists could manage. With digital photography there are many more opportunities for creativity after the shutter clicks. Software tools are not necessarily easy to learn but the cost is low compared to chemical darkroom equipment and information is abundant. As far as I’m concerned it makes sense to use the creative potential available.

To that end I am starting a new project doing altered or augmented images. By augmenting images I mean using digital tools to interpret aspects of a photograph that are not well expressed in the raw image. It is a purely subjective and personal vision. It is not a full time project, just something to add to my existing schedule. I always like to have a variety of work going on.

This image is good example. It was shot within hours of the subject being released from jail. My personal knowledge of the circumstances of the photo shoot informs my processing. I see a spare toughness in his face. He has overcome adversity, possibly of his own making and that should to be part of the portrait. To make this feeling visible I composited concrete and steel textures over his face while keeping the intense clarity in his eyes.

The digital manipulations in this photograph are rather minor. The creative expression is not. The finished work conveys an impression of the subject that I saw in front of my camera. To me it seems more accurate than the raw image.


Author: Ken

Avid photographer and old guy technologist.