Every time I take a photograph, I wonder how it would have looked if it had been taken on film. With digital, you are given endless opportunities to edit and alter the photograph so that it no longer looks anything like that given moment. They say with film there is authenticity, that digital can never be anything more than imitation without soul, but now that I think of it; how was film authentic? Did the colours of the film we used genuinely reflect the scene? One peek at the many film photographs taken by brilliant creatives on Flickr (remember Flickr?) and you will see my point.
Digital, then, simply gives us the opportunity to better represent that moment by editing the image itself to have a feeling. For instance, I love to warm up images taken in autumn because I find autumn the warmest, coziest season. The trees are subtly showing off their desaturated tones of red, yellow, orange and brown. Warm drinks from Tim Hortons and Starbucks are in hand, and a toasty, wool sweater is worn. The image, unedited, would never reflect that; those things that I feel are lost in the image when you see it.
Every photograph has a different personality, and a story unique to itself. I think taking a bit of risk when editing your images is important. I have finally let go of the urge to edit all of my photographs to look the same, as for years I applied the same procedure after shooting any image: desaturate, bump the contrast, squash highlights, apply N1 filter on VSCO Cam. Now I realize that the world around me isn’t all the same, and in every moment I am feeling something different.
Take risks with your camera, and in life. So far I have the first one down to a science, but I have faith the second is not too far away.
Photograph: Taken in Colonel Sam Smith Park in Toronto on my iPhone 5s. Edited with VSCO Cam.