Saturday, March 19, 2016

No details? No problem.

Copyright Fred S.  

Fred S posted this picture on a M4/3 forum. He was worried about the black shadows without details and asked for help.

I said:
The picture is beautiful as it is. In fact, to my tast, the black branches add drama and tension to the image.
I spendt years as a teen, with books and photoclubs, being taught that all photos must have detail in all parts. (Ansel Adams' Zone System ect.)

Why?? It's just an arbitrary idea. Did God step down and proclaim that it had to be so? Do people ask painters "why are there no details in that area or in that area?"

 It took me years to unlearn it. I now have found out that artistically, actually some of my pictures have much stronger and better effect if I sink the shadows into blackness on purpose. One datum I learned too late: The Zone System was a TEACHING AID for students, it was never meant to be a tool for an educated photographer! It was meant to teach the student CONTROL over the tones, it was not meant to teach him that "all photos must have details in all areas".

Addendum: Obviously, in photos, like certain architectural ones, where there are important details in ALL of the parts of the photo, of course you would want to show them all. But I think ultimately that's a minority.

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