Dinkerson Photo

Traveling Beyond my Bailiwick

A Relic and a Rant


See original photo below script.
(Photo is around 30 megs shot at low res)


Lets face it, the great photographers of days long passed used many dark room techniques. Ansel Adam’s boasted that he was certain to use the most modern darkroom tools available to achieve his photographic perspectives.We’d never have heard Margaret White putting down another photographer for using simple darkroom manipulation to help achieve a vision; yet today we’ve become such photographic purists that we’ve ย discarded the techniques of the original geniuses long before any of us have managed to put out a single print that they’d have used to wipe their ass!

Having spoken to many hundreds of professionals, I believe that this purist mindset is a beginner’s folly.

Today, we have many tools that are similar to, and even tremendously more advanced than the darkrooms of the past. Tools such as Nik Software, Lightroom, Aperture and many such others provide us with the additional filters to achieve our visions, beyond what may be available in our cameras’ settings.

I don’t know about you, but while trying capture that carrot shot, I’ve been chased by a bull, stood on a frozen lake, laid down in the highway, and god knows what else… and in those situations, ย I just don’t have the bloody time to play with my camera’s fiddly bits. Fun and shiny as they may be.

Having said that.ย This example may be overdone. Damn.



This is the original RAW image that was edited to the final
draft at the top of this page.
The image was edited almost entirely with brushes in Aperture 3. There were also two very light layer masks applied in Color Efex.


57 Responses to “A Relic and a Rant”

  1. Leanne Cole

    Here, here, well bloody said. I couldn’t agree with you more. I get so sick of people telling me that I should take a photo perfectly in the camera. It has never been done. Even in the darkroom you would manipulate the time that you exposed each image. But now, oh, now, it is cheating. Sorry this is your blog and I am ranting on it. It just gets me.

    • dinkerson

      And yet they shoot RAW. I mean, why shoot RAW if you’re goal is to let your camera do the work in house? If your camera is doing all the processing, then go ahead and let your camera process the image as a Jpeg. One less step, right?

  2. ilargia64

    Guau! I think the result is absolutely perfect and dramatic!!! It is incredible how a shoot can change with a little of patience and a lot of artistic eye…!

    • dinkerson

      Thank you! I love broken down and dramatic. That is becoming my thing.
      Patience is key when you’re creating a dramatic sky out of nothing but a few brushes in Aperture. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. stebaxter

    Couldn’t agree more. Darkroom manipulation was always done and was always part of the creative process of producing brilliant images. It’s one of my major failings that I have never taken the time and effort to master even a fraction of the functionality available to me in Aperture… well, ok, probably not that major compared to the ones that I don’t mention in public… but my point still stands… hopefully. Or will when I make it.

    So my point is this. Authors don’t get criticised for going back and re-writing their initial drafts many many times. They take what they had initially and craft it into a finished work. To my mind digital manipulation of images is pretty much the same sort of process.

    Btw, thanks so much for commenting on my blog. It always means a lot to get positive feedback but then I came here and saw the standard of the photos you are taking and it really really meant a lot.

    • dinkerson

      I kept it brief, and left the door wide open for someone to expound. You did so very well.
      I especially liked the second paragraph.

      Thanks for the compliment too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. fragglerocking

    I’m with you fella! I have aperture 3, PSE9, Topaz, photomatix, colour efex pro & HDR !!! I know that may be overkill but I like to maximise my options!! So saying my latest pic is SOOC :). I like the fact that I can make a shot the way I want it by using a particular lens, a light source, a camera setting, and love the result without using any of my processing programmes. But I also like to take a shot and use the sliders of my programmes to make it how I want it to look, and aslo like you say, sometimes faffing on with the camera isn’t an option, you take the shot then sort it after. The main thing is to see the shot, composition is king. Everything else is gravy!

    • dinkerson

      Sing it sister. Dodge & burn, as they say. Don’t they say that?
      I saw your untouched lipstick photo. That worked, so no hate from me.
      It’s the haters that I’m hatin’ on.

      You’re right, who wants to “faff” with a camera when there’s a shot to compose and you have two seconds to compose it before you’re struck by a car?! Not this guy.

      Not this guy.

    • dinkerson

      Thanks. I rather hated the symmetry, depth of field, and lines of the original. This edit took me hours; whereas, typically, I’ll thirty mins or so.
      Still wasn’t thrilled with the results, but it helped make my point clear.
      I always like your comments. Thanks for the visit. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. tootonesbored

    Wow… thats some beautiful photography… and some great writing as well…. thanks for dropping by mine and making me feel great about what I’m up to over there… you’re the first person to really swamp me with comments…. don’t know where to start in answering them all!!!! (cross referencing the “cat” had me scratching my head!!)… welcome aboard and keep doing what you do… I’m watching…. (not in a creepy-stalky way…)

      • Kellie Kennedy

        OMG! I started a new job and crazy. I am the new Contracts Procurement and employment specialist for a wonderful organization called Desert Arc http://www.desertarc.org I find employment opportunities for developmentally disabled adults. So I am trying to get that under my belt and read and write on my blog. I am still here but just a little less….

      • dinkerson

        By god, Kellie… If the number of syllables in the title is any indication, then that job must be impressive.
        Congratulations. I’ve seen parts of your resume, and it’s no wonder.
        Good luck with it all, and remember your little friends when you’re rich and famous! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. april

    Look at you! Well done, Mr. Dinkerson! I agree with all you say, but I think that this is a natural progression of photography growth. I think everyone that displays a smidge of talent or a modicum of passion for this art has, at one time, been that purist and does wind up becoming a convert. Thank God for that. I love your style; this photo is terrific! And, no, it is not overdone at all.

    • dinkerson

      Thanks! You’re right, and I’m all for allowing the base level beginners to naturally progress. Like I said, beginner’s folly and all that; however, it becomes irritating when the advanced photographers convince the beginners that there’s a special “awesome” button on their camera. And with a little time and patience, they’ll, perhaps, even find it.
      This holds back the beginners and makes it so that they’ll not listen to what you have to say as soon as they discover that you, dare I say, process your images. Maybe you even (gasp) shoot in RAW. Jesus save us. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. april

    Reblogged this on aprilshowersblog and commented:
    The talent this photographer shows is deserving of a reblog. And this post is definitely worth the read. I hope you enjoy as I have.

  8. lolabees

    I love your rants. It’s always good stuff! I like what stebaxter has to say about authors being able to re-write and edit their work without being criticized. That’s a good point. How should this be any different? Great photo and edit. You have a knack for taking seemingly mundane items and giving them a story without using any words at all.

    • dinkerson

      I, too, thought that was a really well said and valid point from stebaxter.
      Thanks for loving my rants.
      As for the mundane items. I think I see something remarkable, and I try to bring it out. This house – it was a tough one, and I’m not entirely happy with it – and the house from “a history lost”, stopped my in my tracks. I turned the car around, and went back to get these shots because… well I don’t know, I’m weird like that.

    • dinkerson

      Well then, I’m going to assume that the missing word is “speechless”.

      Or could it be “choking”? Geez, that would suck.

      • whitfieldoutside

        My battery went dead. Rest assured it was going to be a long diatribe about how great your photos are and how I don’t know who Ansel Adams is/was. But speechless is not in my vocabulary!

      • dinkerson

        Lol. I see. Well, darn I hate that you were cut off, seeings as I love it when people are not at all speechless about their enjoyment of my work.

  9. Iamrcc

    I love your finished product. I particularlylike what you did with the clouds and the foreground. It was the clouds that grabbed my attention. Thanks for visiting and the like of my post “Cloud Puffs”.

  10. Liana

    So for me, here’s the deal: the orig raw is a derelict house…your edited version is a story. Wanna know which I like better?

    • dinkerson

      I have a good guess. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I know what you mean. The original makes you move on, just like the people who drive right past this house every day.
      The edited version hopefully makes you wonder who lived there, and what their stories were.

  11. melaniedean

    Your edited photo is stunning, but it helps that the original image was so good — sorry that you thought it was terrible. Seeing both of them together makes me wonder if a gentle touch could be as beautiful as the dramatic one. Just wondering.

    • dinkerson

      Yes, I think it would have. This is what happens, though, when you don’t really like an image to begin with, but you try to turn it into something that you can like.
      Lately, I’ve been really trying to lighten the hand; letting the images be more of what they naturally are.

  12. melaniedean

    You’re right about having to like the image in the first place. Sometimes, no matter what I do with the dang thing can make me like it!

    I wasn’t criticizing your editing. I think you have done a remarkable job.


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