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Advanced Shooter — The Myth of Documentary Landscape Photography (preview)

©Darwin Wiggett Better than real? This photo was taken at the last light of sunset on Velvia slide film, using a wide-angle lens, polarizer and graduated ND filter. The results look way better captured in camera than the scene looked to my eye.

©Darwin Wiggett
Better than real? This photo was taken at the last light of sunset on Velvia slide film, using a wide-angle lens, polarizer and graduated ND filter. The results look way better captured in camera than the scene looked to my eye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Story and Photography by Darwin Wiggett

I used to think I was a documentary landscape photographer, especially during the period when I only used slide film as my medium to capture images. With slide film, what you got in the camera was your final output; there was no messing in the darkroom and no altering things after the fact. You pressed the shutter and you were done. What could be more pure? When I went out and captured a scene in nature with slide film, I was just letting nature lay itself down on the film — or so I thought.

When people looked at my slides they often asked, “Is that real?” I was always surprised (and somewhat offended) by this reaction. “Of course it’s real! That’s exactly what I saw!” After all, I just pressed the shutter button.

But of course, the truth is not as simple as it seems …

To read more of Darwin Wiggett’s column and other great how-to articles please pick up the January 2014 issue of OPC today, or subscribe!

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