Black & white or color, analogue or digital, edit or not?

Photography as an Artform

Being an artist, with a background in illustration and fine arts, I have a very free-spirited attitude towards photography. I am non-dogmatic, anarchistic, art-oriented, which means I love Photoshop and all the fun stuff you can do with pictures in it. For me, photography is one way of making pictures. I do not focus very much on techniques, and I really don’t give a damn whether a picture is edited or not, analogue or digital, color, grayscale, or whatever. I focus on the result. So – discussions on whether it is O.K. to edit a picture or not, are to me totally meaningless.

One of the good things about black & white (or greyscale, as it really is), is that the picture will be even more abstract, compared to the original object. The less realism, the more abstraction – the more artistic it becomes. The more we try to give an impression of an object, rather than just copying it, the more emotionally influenced the picture can become. The more we blur, edit, change color balance, cut, paste, skew etc., the more we actually create a unique piece of art. That’s my idea.

I love photographers who continue the great tradition of Man Ray, Lee Miller and other creative surrealists – people who use technique (or even invent them, like when Man Ray and Lee Miller invented solarization, based on a mishap) to create a certain artistic effect in a picture. Those are my favourites. That doesn’t mean I work like them. I just appreciate their anarchistic attitude towards pictures.

For myself, I love color. I started shooting in my early teens, in the 1970’s, so I have paid my dues in the darkroom, but I don’t like to spend a lot of time developing film and working with pictures in that gloomy, chemical room – I want results, faster. So I love digital photography and Photoshop.

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To me, Art is Play. And anything that makes it more fun to play is good for art.
I like to change colors, and sometimes lower the saturation, making it semi-b&w. Or leaving a detail in color. Or the opposite. I love the clone tool. I think I prefer overdoing it, rather than the opposite.

I am a maximalist, not a minimalist.

Less is not more. Less is less, more is more.


© Carl Johan Rehbinder


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