The moment, The memory and the digital sensor

Reflected Tree - Version 01, Ben Dolman 2015





Reflected Tree - Version 02, Ben Dolman 2015


The above photographs are two versions of the same image, an image that was captured on a digital camera and open up in Lightroom. The first image is altered, the colours have been adjusted to what I 'thought' I had 'actually' perceived of the tree reflected in muddy water. The second image the colours have not been altered, the colour blue seems to become present in the rendering of the digital sensor. The differences in the colour rendering of the digital sensor to that of my supposed 'actual' perception of the reflected tree in the muddy water has got me thinking. 

Colour photography is sometimes referred to as being illustrative as opposed to that of black & white photography which some considered as graphical in it's visual rendition of a subject, for me colour photography is subjective and this is especially so when using traditional colour film. Normally when I colour correct scanned colour negatives I get within 90% of a supposed neutral colour balance but the last 10% of the colour correction refinement is down to my own visual perception of what feels 'right' which is also coupled with my memory of the time the photograph was taken and the intervening period of reflection upon the image. 

The interesting thing about memory is it is reductive, playful and sometimes fanciful just like how we actually perceive things, we concentrate and focus on one particular element of a subject at a time to gain a better understanding of it, as one bit of visual information is digested and interpreted we move on and scan the next element that captures our attention. Our natural vision and brain maybe limited in processing visual information to that of a digital camera sensor, but the digital sensor cannot capture our other senses which can alter our perception of things. Standing at this scene of the reflected tree in the muddy waters of North Beck I feel a cool breeze across my face, the smell of winter dampness whilst hearing the sound of the passing water of the swollen River Trent behind my back, all these senses contribute and shape my perception of place and the moment.

Both photographs are valid, one is how I see/sense things the other is how the digital sensor sees/renders the same things. 

Below are a couple more photographs from Church Langham which sits on the banks of the River Trent. Both photographs were taken at the same time, the sky above me had a distinct divided, to the north was clear skies and to the south cloudy and misty.



Caravan Park - Church Laneham, Ben Dolman 2015

River Trent - Church Laneham, Ben Dolman 2015