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When art bumps into the technical

The world of digital photography draws in the technically minded. Often times these people are the type who love to have a rule for everything.

The most commonly toted rule is “Whatever you do, don’t blast out the highlights.” The corollary to this axiom is don’t allow your shadows to block up.

Okay. I’ll submit this is a noble goal and should be followed in most circumstances. But their are times to blast the highlights–maybe to provide negative space for future design work, maybe so that we can see the expression of a face in the shadows. And their are times to block up your shadows–add emotion to the photo, remove a distraction.

What gets me is when these tech, rule following nazis immediately discount a photo because the it wasn’t “properly exposed.”

I say if it was intentional, let’s actually look at the the photo. Recently on a TWIP Podcast the hosts discussed how John Rooney’s photo of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston would be ripped to pieces on online photo forums like Flickr or Fred Miranda. Give me a break! If I get one photo like the Ali photo in my life–a photo expressing that much emotion–I’ll be ecstatic.

At the same time, I am tired of seeing lazy photography in the name of art. Come on, at least get it in focus. And if the situation calls for a tripod, use one goddamit! No more of this shaky urban edge photography that has come en vogue recently.

So can we all go out their and shoot some intentional and beautiful photos.