Perceptual Re-Imaging (sm)

Have you ever looked at one of your photos and thought, "That's not what I remember — that's not what I saw?"  Many of us have had that experience.

The human capacity for perception and the camera's capacity to capture an image are radically different.  The camera's dynamic range is inferior to ours, and the camera's sensor treats all areas of the scene with the same detached technical uniformity.

Buddy 7993 After 600w Buddy
Above is the image after editing
For a before & after comparison see below

The Mind's Eye
Our capacity for perception includes eye-flow through the scene in front of us, and our personal interests direct our attention to the most meaningful areas.  We edit in the significant and edit out the less meaningful.  Elements in the scene cause us to recall iconic and personal memories that add meaning to the scene's story — meaning that is not in the scene but is in our "mind's-eye".

"(The Impressionists) knew that the human eye is a marvelous instrument.
You need only give it the right hint and it builds up for you
the whole from which it knows to be there."

E. H. Gombrich, The Story of Art

These mind-brain processes can not be performed by the camera — they must be recreated in the digital darkroom to create a photograph.

"You don't take a photography, you make it."
Ansel Adams

Recreating your original perception in the digital darkroom
The photographer's goal in the digital darkroom is to recapture and convey the original perception to the viewer.  This goal is achieved by editing the image perceptually to emphasize the key story-telling elements in the scene, create eye-flow to those elements, emphasize the important and de-emphasize distraction.  The process is illustrated in the before & after images below.

"Photography has now become information in the pure state, content without matter...
Issues of meaning will take precedence over issues of representation."

Joan Fontcberta, "Photography: Crisis of History"


Before & After Examples
Before images are show below. Click on "PLAY" to cycle between Before & After



Super Rides by Jordan


From straight shot to transcendence


Rose Cluster


1961 Vette



Tide Pools


Chief Pontiac Hood Ornament





Upstart at Distinction

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Restore & Retouch
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Déjà Vu
"The illusion of having already experienced something
actually being experienced for the first time."

The American Heritage Dictionary