My approach to photography is like working with any other art medium. If I am painting or drawing, you work with various media until you find what works. You can mix and blend and experiment. You are after a final result.
A culmination of techniques, inspiration and often stumbling upon some happy accident that makes the piece uniquely yours. Should it be any different for the photography medium? That is a subject that stirs much debate.
I personally don’t place restrictions on what I do with the digital media nor if I was working with film. Since the birth of photography in the late 19th century, photographers were superimposing images and playing around with developing techniques and colour modes. There is the film lab and the digital lab. One big difference is that in the digital lab no chemicals are involved in the developing of the image to the print process.
You cannot replace though a great first shot. Everything falls into place. The light, the composition, the moment. But I work on the basis that if I chose to experiment with the shot before print I’ll do it. It is my shot!
I visited an Art Gallery recently and commented to the director that one thing was missing. ‘What’s that?’ he said ‘You have some great work here but no photography.’
He replied ‘And there never will be! Photography is not art!’
The ‘purists’ in any art form who resolutely cling to a preconceived way of thinking are like someone trapped in quicksand holding onto a piece of straw and who won’t grab hold of the outstretched hand of help.
What did the old masters use as medium?
Just about anything that was available.
Imagine Da Vinci with a digital SLR and Photoshop.