Digital Manipulation,

the Before and After

. Click to enlarge
The images that come out of the camera can be a bit rough, but I regard them as merely the raw material; every frame I shoot requires at least some adjustment in Photoshop. To achieve a really decent final shot, I might spend hours at the computer, correcting, adjusting and even altering as I see fit.

Many photographic purists consider digital manipulation of any sort to be a deceit if not an all-out abomination. While I agree that there are tasteful limits--a garishly doctored photo can be atrocious--I feel that a carefully manipulated image that expresses the artistic vision of the photographer has moved beyond the photo-journalistic or documentary and into the realm of art. In the case of these first couple of pictures from Burning Man, what is conveyed in the final imagery is not necessarily a coldly accurate historical or meteorological record, but more the impression of what it was like to come upon these astounding sights in the middle of a dust-blown desert.

These Burning Man 2009 snapshots are initially presented as they came off the camera.
Roll your mouse over an image to see the final product; click to see larger.

-- Brian Zegarski
Click to enlarge
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Click to enlarge After
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(More to come)
Meta-Comment: About this Page

To create this presentation, I started in Photoshop with the before and after layers in proper registration. Then in ImageReady, I created multiple frames of varying top-layer density which I exported as lossy gifs for the img tag's mouse events to load.

But linking the img tags to these large files would result in sluggish response, so I preload the first three into an array in the document head and load the remainder into the array after the document has loaded, presumably while the user is still exploring the first three images. As long as the browser allows Javascript, it all works behind the scenes!

Do you need something like this? Drop me an email!
Want to see some killer photoshopping? Visit the links below:

Text & images copyright © 2011, Brian Zegarski
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