Artistic License

Artistic License… what does it really mean…?

The freedom to create artwork based on the artist’s interpretation.

Often, photography is not seen as “art”. This is really a tragedy, as photographers spend hundreds of hours honing their craft, learning their tools, improving their skills, understanding light and composition, just as other artists do… yet, they are not given the same respect or credit. How often have we heard… “Wow, great pic, you must have an excellent camera” or “If that were in a gallery, I would buy it”? I personally, need more than two hands to count the number of times I have heard these or similar comments.

Simply put, photography is a form of art and definitely a form of expression. From Photojournalism to Abstract Photography; photography runs the gamut of styles and subjects. I consider my photography art. I consider myself an artist. I consider my medium a camera. I consider Photoshop and its various plugins to be my palette.

Sometimes we exercise our artistic license in how we create images. In this image, I was standing in a grove of Poplar trees. The grove was long and narrow, which to me felt like a tunnel. I tried to convey that feeling by using a telephoto lens, and moving from telephoto to wide angle while the shutter was open. Other than adding some contrast and checking for blown highlights, this image has not been “processed”.



In this next image, I exercised my artistic license in how I processed this image. For this image, I used Topaz Clean 3, and started with the FlatStyle preset. I liked how it flattened and smoothed the image, while leaving the pattern of light created by the moving clouds. This image now conveys the simplicity and peacefulness of the rolling dune-like hills for which the Palouse is known. It takes the focus off the grain, off the labor of the land, and sets a dreamy-mood, in which one can get lost in thought. If you are interested in learning more about Topaz Plugins, click here.



At RRPT, we love to share our passion for all-things photography. If you would like to experience a photo tour that focuses on getting you to the right place at the right time, while in a supportive environment that encourages you to express your artistic vision, then you should check out our 2014 fall tours and newly announced 2015 tours! Click here for more information.

Happy Shooting!


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I have a very wide definition of what is art. To me, if someone did something with the intention of creating an emotion in the viewer, it’s “art”.
    No, I’m not talking about straight up vandalism…

    I took a series of wide angle close up portraits. A friend hated them, said they made him feel bad for the people whose picture had been taken because I made everyone look ugly. It took a while, but I thanked him for his feelings about my art. I think they’re good pictures, and now I know they’re art, because they inspired another person to “feel” something – even if all he felt was negative.

    here’s the set:

  2. Aside from art/ artist, the only other word perverted beyond recognition is ciclee’.
    What does artistic license mean to me? Pretty much nothing.
    Am I an artist? I don’t know.
    Do I care? Not really.
    Then what the hell am I? An individual using the medium of photography as a means to self expression.
    Nothing more, nothing less.

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