"look at this little piece of the world i've captured in a photograph"
Indeed. And since the film or the sensor doesn't see what you see in the water, and your brain is very good at filtering out extraneous information (like the shark in the background), the photographic artist has to exercise creativity. To restrict yourself to working only in camera is to throw away one hundred and fifty years of photographic experience. It's true that large-scale editing rarely works, but I still don't understand this obsession: the camera distorts images and it takes a truly great photographer to compensate for the optical, chromatic and cognitive distortion inherent in the photographic process and create "reality". This is particularly true when shooting fast-moving megafauna in unpredictable circumstances. I contend that most of the great underwater images do not reflect accurately what the photographer actually experienced, but create a different mood, probably a more dramatic one, and certainly increase the chromatic intensity and luminance contrast over what was seen at the time. Most underwater photographs manipulate perspective in ways that would be egregiously obvious above the surface. All still photography converts a fleeting moment into an extended period of contemplation by the viewer. A great photographer once expressed his aim as recreating the emotional experience (as the image was captured) in the viewer at a later time and a different place: I believe that he spent a lot of time in the darkroom. So much of what photography is is discarded by a slavish and incompletely realised devotion to "reality"
This isn't "real", you physically cannot experience this sight, though nothing's been added or removed except the black edges of the frame:
There is absolutely nothing laissez-faire about my comment: I think that it cuts to the heart of making photographic images.
Edited by tdpriest, 01 September 2010 - 03:54 PM.