I’m back to it.
The first thing to understand is that I did not intentionally make a statement with my post production explorations. I am really just letting the picture take me wherever it wants to go. However, I know what this picture looks like. The apocalyptic future. Something out of one of those “Escape from Somewhere” movies.
I assure you that was not my intent.
To tell the truth, the picture was made in Dallas. Texas. When the late afternoon sun bounced off the buildings in the middle distance. What looks like a pile of broken something in the foreground are actually just are overgrown summer weeds. Everything else that you see was made in my computer.
There was huge uproar this week. In short, a fairly well awarded young photojournalist was found to have used other photographer’s pictures within his own, using various technical overlay tools to make his work better. It was discovered by a serious fan of Mary Ellen Mark’s work, who recognized part of her picture — made thirty years earlier — within one of this guy’s pictures.
The firestorm that erupted was mind numbing. He lost his awards. The awarding groups are trying to reclaim any money that might have been given with those awards. His career is over. As it should be. Photojournalism is a kind of sacred genre of photography. It has to be honest by its very nature. A friend of mine posted the NPPA (National Press Photographers Association) rules about modifying or enhancing images, saying it was the gold standard. And, it is. But, I can sum it up even more succinctly. DO NOT DO IT!
Nothing I do these days comes close to being photojournalism. Even though my career began that way, I’ve slipped and slid over to something else. People commission me because of what I do to pictures after the fact. To be sure, they do not exactly portray real life. When I experiment here, the pictures come out of my mind. I’m fairly certain there is no resemblance to real life.
That’s a scary enough thought.