Everywhere you look today, images are getting, well…, crispy-crunchy-edgy-gritty; choose your adjective.
Some of this is the result of the the incredible infatuation both the viewing public and photographers have for HDR. Some of it is a response to flavor-of-the-week processing techniques like the so-called “grunge effect”. One only has to glance at the up-and-coming photographers featured in today’s trade magazines to see multiple examples of this look.
Filters from companies like Topaz are capitalizing on the wave of edgy editing by producing tools to make this easy for the casual user of image editing software. Combined with HDR, these techniques and filters are creating the “look of today”. Just look at the blogs from the “rock stars” of today’s photography and image editing and you will see plenty of examples. Rick Sammon’s recent posts at Digital Photo Experience Blog are an perfect example.
While it is too soon to call this technique of hyper-sharpened, hyper-contrasted images a fad, it is also too soon to consider them a staple of modern photography. That is for the public and art historians to decide. For now, it sells. That is probably enough.
So, Public: would you like regular?
Personally, I think there is a time and place for each. I just hope everyone eventually realizes this.
Rikk Flohr © 2010