Be Proud of Your Style

Photography is about sharing what you saw in the moment 

Many of you might already have seen the video already, as it has gone viral the last few days. The video shows how six photographers all take portraits of the same guy, but they are each given a different story of the mans background. It's fascinating to see how different the results turned out, yet it makes a lot of sense if you give it some thought. 

Now, you might ask why I'm writing about this, after all I'm a landscape photographer not a portrait photographer and rarely do I write about trending topics. When I was watching this video I got drawn towards the never ending landscape photography discussion of "to edit or not to edit". 

As you see in the video, all the photographers are told different stories about the actor, and his behaviour adapts to each of the fictional characters. The photographers capture six totally different pictures of the actor, proving that how you see a person will effect how you create his image. 

I feel this has many similarities to landscape photography, as what I see may not be the same as what you see. If you place six landscape photographers at the same location, they will all capture unique images. One person might focus more on the two rocks in the foreground, while the other person might choose to dramatically increase the saturated sky in his post processing, because that is what he experienced at the moment. They will all notice different elements in the landscape and choose to focus on these. 

So tell me, what does it matter if somebody uses less or more saturation, what does it matter that someones composition may be a little untraditional? Is it really that dangerous that we all have different perspectives? Isn't that a good thing? 

This is the reason I generally dislike the discussion of wether or wether not you should process your images. What does it matter? There is no right or wrong. As long as you are true to your experience, thats what matters. That being said, I'm now talking about processing in terms of saturation and other artistic effects, not the adding of elements that wasn't there. Adding a unicorn to a landscape isn't what I call photography, but rather art. Also it's important to understand the difference between photo journalism and fine art photography. 

I'll avoid going into too big of a rant on this topic, and I'll stick with a short summary of my opinion: Stay true to what you saw when being in the field. Nobody has the right to tell you "it is too much", they may have that opinion, but should you care? After all you are (hopefully) photographing for your own pleasure, not to please others.