Exercise 4.1

Critical review proposal

When you’re ready, send your tutor a proposal for your critical review. You may have a firm idea of what you would like to write about, or you may have several topics to decide between. At this stage you’re not expected to have a plan.
This proposal can take the form of an informal email, of not more than 200 words . You must contact your tutor before you begin your research and writing in earnest.

LP&E, p.138

Sent to tutor 15th March

The ethics of skies

[14Mar22] For Assignment 4, I intend to examine an aspect of image manipulation, specifically skies, covering the history, methods and reasons for doing so and whether some might be considered appropriate and others not. The treatment is likely to touch on other forms of manipulation and explore whether there are boundaries of acceptable practice.

This subject was prompted by a surfeit of discount offers in late 2021 for a Luminar software update with improved sky replacement, while writing in Part 1 about early landscape photographers sandwiching negatives to overcome the failings of their emulsions.

There are various forms of manipulation: the Bechers tended to photograph in overcast conditions to minimise distractive skies and shadows; graduated filters adjust the light reaching film or sensor; analogue photographers vary exposures in printing (dodging and burning) and there are digital equivalents; HDR software combines separate exposures; computational systems in smartphones offer new levels of automated manipulation (or is that an oxymoron?). Are some approaches acceptable and others not: who defines “acceptable”?

I suspect that the conclusion will approximate to “it is up to the individual to decide their own boundaries” and in reaching that point I hope to discover and define my own.

Word count 198

Tutor reply 18th March


LPE Exc 4.1 References

Alexander, J, Conroy, A, Hughes, A, & Lundy, G (2019) Landscape, Place and Environment [LPE]. Barnsley: Open College of the Arts.