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Clarity of Vision

by admin on September 1, 2011

Clarity Of Vision

Most artists and photographers seek clarity of vision. How can we achieve greater clarity of vision? Photoshop, the image software editing program, offers us a nifty little slider in the Camera Raw processing mode-if  we move that slider to the right and increase the value of the clarity setting perhaps we can create images with greater clarity? I wish it were that easy.

Badlands Landscape
Photography offers us the challenge of understanding our inner vision, as well as understanding a complex technology that offers us hundreds of tools that can personalize and clarify our expression, or hopelessly muddle it. The difference between someone who takes pictures and someone who creates photographs is a subtle and sometimes fine-line. But if you study the medium for very long that difference quickly becomes apparent.


The “snap-shooter” is a slave to the medium. They are not aware of the expressive and manipulative tools offered by the medium, either contained within the camera or after image capture; through software programs like Photoshop, or conventional photo-finishing and printmaking techniques.


A photographer realizes the power of the 2-dimensional image. A photographer will create compelling images that engage the viewer. Great photographers will achieve this with images that are clean, crisp, and devoid of anything but those elements that support the intent of the vision conceived of by the photographer.


A “snap-shooter” will create a photograph and accept or reject it based upon the sketchiest of information-these days that can mean a simple glance at the back of a digital camera. If there are imperfections they are accepted at face value without regard to whether they can be corrected or even whether they should be corrected. For the “snap-shooter” the critical analysis of the final photograph is usually equal to the fleeting thought that they put into making the photograph.  Without critical consideration of the original subject matter (either before or after the act of making the photograph) the resulting photographic image cannot communicate with any depth or clarity of vision.


Photographers create their best work when their images reflect careful consideration and thoughtful decisions both before and after the act of making the photograph. Clarity is achieved when the photographer is thoughtful about all steps in the image making process:
Subject Selection
Subject Depiction Within The Photographic Composition
Subject Depiction Within Printmaking or Post Processing

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