Thank you for your clarification of the facts with regard to David Doubilet's nudibranch series. As a surgeon and lifelong photography hobbyist, I have always believed that serious artisans and artists stand on the shoulders of giants. David Doubilet is certainly one of these giants, who has pushed the envelope, and shown us the possibilities with regard to creating stunning, enduring and important images.
I think a very important boundary has been crossed with these images, which may be intentional or inadvertent, but the boundary has been crossed nevertheless. It is the boundary of manipulation in order to create images. Effectively there are two approaches to manipulating images, either to manipulate the environment in order to create the image, or subsequently to manipulate the image to simulate the desired environment, as with Photoshop. Had Mr. Doubilet taken his underwater studio a step further and inverted a glass fish tank over this underwater studio, and then subsequently filtered the water in the tank to eliminate backscatter, would the images be any less valid? I say not. Could one deny they were manipulated, I don't think so.
Combinations of both forms of manipulation (in camera or post) may be employed by some, though giants like Mr. Doubilet have no need to be anything other than purists devoted to their craft.
Clearly David Doubilet has done the former type of manipulation, as a master of the underwater environment he has manipulated the environment to create the image. Contrary to your statement about the possibility of creating similar images in Photoshop, this task would be easy for an advanced photoshop user and certainly for those photographers who use Photoshop and are considered as gurus of Photoshop, as is David Doubilet considered a master in capturing the image in camera. In some respects the cloudiness of the water / backscatter in David Doubilet's images could look almost identical to intentionally fuzzy or poor Photoshop manipulation.
But to return to my point, the boundary of manipulation has been crossed, and I applaud David Doubilet for doing it, and for setting us free, free to accept that thoughtful and considerate manipulation of the photographic environment is OK in order to create great images. I think it is important to note though, that the cat is out of the bag, and I look forward to seeing more images from creative photographers, that utilize multiple and creative forms of manipulation to create great images.
Edited by loftus, 24 May 2008 - 08:05 AM.
Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.