Art and Technology

The Technology Behind My Photography and Art

The digital age has created dramatic changes in the world of photography. One, cell phones have made everyone a photographer and darn good ones at that. But the new technology also allows you to do things after an image is taken that you couldn’t even dream of when I first started.

Many of my photojournalist brethren believe that a great photo should be natural and untouched. In other words, you snap the picture, then print it out. Simple and straight forward. What they sometimes forget, is that the “darkroom” used to be the postproduction vehicle for their photos and many of their photos were “tweaked” during that process. Different processes produce slightly different variations of the image.

While I haven’t forgotten my photojournalism roots, using technology can make a photograph more realistic or can allow greater flexibility in creating digital artworks. And therefore, can make for interesting and, in many instances, more dramatic images. 

One of the methods or techniques I like to use is true High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. An HDR photo is a series of photographs taken at different exposures or focus points, then stacked one on top of another — to produce one image.

Why do this you ask?

The human eye can perceive an extraordinary range of contrast or focus points in a scene, a range far greater than any camera’s sensor can capture with just one picture. If we are standing in a room with bright sunlight streaming through the windows, we can see the details in the dimly lit areas of the room as well as the brightly lit lawn and scenery outside the windows.

A camera is going to have serious trouble capturing both ends of that drastic exposure range with just one image. If you choose to meter for the highlights outside (the bright areas), you’ll lose pretty much all the detail inside the room (the room will be very dark in the photo). Try it the other way—meter for the darker room—and you’ll end up with windows that are completely washed out (nothing will be discernable outside).

Now let’s pretend you take 9 photos of that room, all at different exposures, and combine them together to create one photo with all the detail you can get inside and outside. Would this make for a more realistic image? Absolutely! And that’s why I like using the High Dynamic Range photography technic. 

Currently, I’m creating two types of art. The first are “fine art photographs.” The second are “digital artworks” that I sometimes create from these original photographs.

The fine art photographs may be full color, sometimes black-n-white, and sometimes black-n-white with color highlights. Depending on the photograph, I try to pick the combination that brings out the best in the image.

The fine art photographs are digitally signed and are produced in many different configurations – framed prints, canvas prints, metal prints, or even on acrylic glass. In addition, I will produce custom works. Just contact me with your particulars. 

From these original photographs, I will sometimes create a “digital artwork.” Many of these art pieces take an original photograph and customize it to look like the photo was actually painted. Other “digital art” pieces can get much more complicated, becoming something altogether different. 

Generally, these “digital artworks” are produced as canvas prints and the prints are digitally signed. 

In addition, you will find many of these works are available on promotional items like t-shirts, coffee mugs, towels, and much more. So look around, you might find something you like. 

Remember, great images transcend time. They evoke the same emotions years and decades later. Maybe you cried. Maybe you laughed. Either way, an image that makes you feel something is a great photo. Hopefully, you’ll find one in this collection.

This is a picture my wife took of me while photographing "Yona Mountain." You can see "The Final Result" below.

Everyone loves a challenge. For me, the thrill is in finding that perfect spot and taking that perfect picture. Three hours climbing a mountain is definitely worth "the final result."

Samuel McCall

"The Final Result"

“Not too long ago, my wife and I decided to hike to the top of Yonah Mountain in the mountains of North Georgia. Yonah is located near Helen, Georgia. The climb was a little more difficult than we expected—— but well worth the views at the top.  If you decide to make the climb, keep in mind that there is a little hamburger joint, appropriately named “Yonah Burger,” located near the base of the mountain. Give it a try. Great burgers! Especially after a long arduous hike.”

                                          ——–Samuel McCall







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