Digital Painting

I started a mandala series of images in 2004 based on digital camera images. I used the camera images as “paint” to fill-in the mandala drawings. Now I’m doing something similar with landscapes I discover here in Canada, and around the world. Since what I do is clearly not photography in the classic sense, I simply call it digital painting. Often this term is used to describe the process of using a "computer brush" such as found in the Corel Painter program to create digital artwork with a traditional painterly look. I'm using the digital painting term in a much broader way.

There are areas of photography such as photo journalism, documentary and scientific where it is considered bad practice, even unethical, to manipulate digital photos except in small ways. The idea is to capture reality "as it is" and so this has some merit. However, the truth is that the camera captures only one version of reality and so has its own limitations for the "purist" photographer. Certainly I feel free to do whatever I want with digital data because for me it is just another art form. Ansel Adams, perhaps the most famous landscape photographer, spent many hours in his darkroom burning and dodging his prints to alter what the camera exposed to match his own vision. If living today, I have no doubt he would be an avid photoshop user and experimentalist.