With the transition over to digital about ten years ago, I feel like a particular mood and innocence was lost from the era of film. My entire portfolio of Hawaii hula images was shot on Kodak black and white film. I am not saying that I liked the film days any better; I am saying it was different.
Part of our job as photographers is to de-clutter the scene we will be shooting. It is a subtractive process, opposite of what a paint artist does. To shoot a good film image, a photographer had to plan a bit more in advance of “pushing the button.” We must look for uncluttered backgrounds, and simplify as much as we can before shooting. The subject must be good and clean in it’s raw form.
As we switched over to digital developing, the thought process has evolved to “de-clutter in post”, right? I do both now; I simplify the scene before I shoot and I do some additional de-cluttering in post processing. So what is pure photography anymore? My answer is that the power of a pure photograph comes when the emotional heart-strings of the viewer have been tugged by your final image.