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Photographic Images by Michael Kay

Like many avid photographers, I began taking snapshots at an early age with my trusty Kodak Instamatic film camera. I purchased my first SLR while in college, where I was pursuing a degree in Television production. I believe it was the emphasis that was placed on composition in my television and cinematography classes that honed my ability to compose interesting pictures from that time on.  Even so, available-light picture taking with film cameras can be very frustrating: frames are so often over or under-exposed in critical areas, and our ability to correct this in the darkroom was very limited.  The problem with film photography for me was that the pictures I took never really came back as I remembered them…

The advent of digital photography and software programs like Photoshop opened up a whole new world of possibilities.  Now we can layer different exposures of the same picture on top of one another, and get beautifully correct shadows and highlights in a finished print that were really not possible before.  We can saturate the colors so that they look like what our eyes actually saw, or we can alter pixels in such a way as to make our photos look like paintings.

There are purists who believe that any manipulation of an image is heresy… but I am of the mind that the image I captured may not be served until I play with it.  This is why I do not call myself a straight up photographer:  I create images that have a photographic basis… some have almost no manipulation; some are highly changed.  It won’t go on my wall until I am happy with the final version.



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