Before and After by Anton Candra

We are now living in an era, where photographs may no longer be applied as solid representation of reality. A connection between artistic pursuit and capturing reality has become even wider. With all the technological advances in term of image manipulation, an artist has the power to create an image to a level beyond capturing it. One might say, this totally gives them a freedom to express whatever creative idea which lies in their mind, and translate it into its media. Another might also say, this is totally against the fundamental principle of photography.


We may be able to reconstruct a scene in our computer, showing a person standing beside an elephant, where actually there is no elephant at all. We captured a scene where there were so many disturbing elements in the background/foreground, and at the end of the day back in our computer we eliminate it with stamp-tools photoshop. Thus we produce an image just like the way we want it, regardless the reality.

Some say, this ability to manipulate an image, is a double-edged sword. It gives us power but it also diminishes the credibility of photography.

I understand, diverse opinions, controversial arguments and approaches, have been discussed in many forums in the internet. I also understand, at the end of the paragraph there is no definite answer regarding this matter. Simply because, we are unable to distinguish what is real and what is unreal – in photography term.

This is just my opinion, Its not my attempt to influence my readers to have the same idea as mine. Just a  plain simple and very subjective opinion it is.

I simply do not care how a great image is created, as long as it is still within the range of  purpose it’s served. A photograph can be considered as a product of art. As long as the sole purpose of creating the picture is within ARTISTIC TERM, I don’t really care about all the alterations. I look at all those digital conceptual photographs, none of them are representation of reality, fully altered and yet I was stunned by the beauty of it.

Courtesy of Freyja* under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

However, IF the sole purpose of a picture is to represent reality – as in photojournalism or street photography-  then, in my opinion, any manipulation BEYOND its fundamental or changing the course of reality  is off course…….unacceptable.

Evabelle - Tessalar

We take a photograph, not a picture. A picture is created as painting is created. Whether it is used to serve its purpose as artistic object OR as  representation of reality, it is our choice. To contradict between these two purposes is completely inappropriate. These  determine how a manipulation is justified.

Again,  just my thought to share to all. Thank you for reading my blog, I really appreciate your visit.


Visit my Flickr page for more images


About Anton Candra

Thanks for dropping by, click one of my sites and you will find out about me :)
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5 Responses to Before and After by Anton Candra

  1. Guy Platt says:

    An excellent article. Most enjoyable and with some beautiful images. I just love how you desaturated and increased the highlights in the first and second last series. This is an area I want to experiment with more since I like the look so much.

    I see that I can be notified of new comments but I wish I could get notifications of new entries ..


    • Anton Candra says:

      Thank you very much Guy for visiting. I really appreciate it. You’ll be able to get that look by increasing overall contrast, also adding micro-contrast in some selective areas, and applying color tone to enhance the vibrance. I used CS4 and a very handy Nik Software Plugin (also available for Lightroom)

      Regarding updates notification, if you had a wordpress account, you’d see the “FOLLOW” button at the left upper corner, we’d get notified every time there’s new entry.

      • Guy Platt says:

        Thanks for sharing your post processing. Definitely an area I should start experimenting with.

        I own all the Nik Software products but I have uninstalled them in order to force myself to try and do more myself. At the moment I only have Aperture and Lightroom installed.

        Thanks, I had found the follow option. Wasn’t sure if it would work or not.


  2. Hu Cha Wei says:

    very interesting article Anton, keep posting new one. Thanks for adding follow box, I will subscribe

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