If you’ve been following me for some time, you know how much I love my favorite season, autumn, and really miss the brilliant colors of New England that abound at this time of year. As a result, I’m always keeping my eyes open for photographs and, as you see, have several links to New England photographers on my page. I have to say, however, that I’ve developed a bit of a beef, sort of. Not a big beef, just a little one. More like a veal. Can one have a veal?
With the digital-editing capabilities we have now, I’ve noticed that many photos are…too colorful. Take this picture of Franconia Notch in New Hampshire, supposedly showing the conditions “right now”:
Beautiful, huh? I immediately thought the saturation of colors was a bit too much. This photo brought it home. As I read the comments, I saw that I’m not the only one who has a veal with photos that have had the colors over-saturated to the point of being unrealistic, especially to those who know better. Look at some of the comments:
“The foliage is still intact and the colors are still beautiful… Its not too late if this is were we decide to go!”
“Beautiful! It didn’t look like that last weekend when I was there! Glad you’re enjoying it!”
“Wow! Was there a week ago and it was nice … but this is incredible!”
“Beautiful Picture, Close my eyes and I’m There!”
Then, the realists:
“Definitely enhanced…….Was not far from there and the colors are already muted…….The best foliage colors are in southern NH and even those are close to done being vibrant.”
“I’m sorry but I live 15 mins from the Notch & it does not look like this at all right now, maybe a week ago but it’s WAY past peak already & a big storm blew all the leaves off the trees. Pretty pic but don’t lie to the folks that don’t live here!”
Now, I don’t want to knock people’s photography skills. I just think we are more often than ever before, taking what is already beautiful and enhancing it to our perception of beauty which is not completely real. Magazines, especially of and/or for women, have done this to photos for years! Now, however, we have ordinary people who take beautiful shots, edit them a bit too much, perhaps, and they are taken for reality by other people who may not know what the truth is. Imagine the disappointment some of these people will feel if they go and see the muted colors that are the reality of a post-peak foliage season.
Perhaps I am being hypocritical because, after all, I have also enhanced photos I’ve taken to make the colors pop a bit more. But my photos still look realistic–to me, at least. When I see photos where the grass is just a bit too green or too bright a green, or the sky is too blue, I question it and will sometimes edit the photo, to what I consider more natural and realistic, especially if it’s one that someone has taken of us or our children. Our perceptions of reality are all different, though, aren’t they….
I’ve made the comment to my Southern Man, on more than one occasion, that it’s gotten so that when looking at a photo or watching a video, who knows what reality even is, anymore? When I first saw this video, it looked real:
Nope. I did research and it was, indeed, a hoax. Now, mind you, the original version I saw did not have the company logo or captions in it and was at a better resolution. The flailing arm after the attack is what got me. I watched it several times and it still looked realistic. Thankfully, it wasn’t!
Apparently, this one was real or so I thought. There are critics that say it’s also a hoax:
And the jury is out on this one. Most think it’s real, but there are some that say, “Who knows?”
The technology with videos is amazing and the final products, especially like the ones I posted, can cause a lot of controversy amongst viewers who don’t know or want to take them at face-value. I don’t know much about that subject, how it’s done, etc., so I’ll stick to criticizing photographs, especially of nature and fall foliage. 😉 Most photographs that I see are probably edited like I edit many of mine–crop them, saturate the colors a bit, change the contrast, touch-up a few “problem” areas, and so on–and most of them look fantastic and realistic. There are those few though, that are a bit too much.
I guess what concerns me is the naivete we have when we believe that a picture, especially of nature, that is so bright and colorful is the reality when, back in the days before we went digital, we were much less apt to be fooled. It leads me to wonder if some of us are becoming disappointed with what we see in the world around us on a daily basis when the reality of the world doesn’t have the bright colors and contrast to which we are becoming accustomed from all the editing of reality that we do. What do you think?