What is creative photography? There are many definitions, but for me it is anything I do, in this case post processing, to change the original photograph to something different. It could an addition of something that was not there or a removal of something in the photo that would drastically alter it. It could deal with perspective. It could be as simple as changing a clear calm day to a stormy one. Sometimes, it is evident the photo was altered – which is perfectly fine for this genre. Creative is your work, whether or not it has been done before, except for an exact copy.
One of my first creative works was so sublime that no one got it. It was a photo of a harbor where the sky was daylight and the harbor, buildings and boats were in night time. Too subtle.
While this photo was not actually my first “creative” work, it was the one that really got me rolling, back in 2012.
I saw the stairway and the door during a walking tour in Ashland, N.C. The photo itself is not much to look at, but I knew it had potential for me.
What sparked my interest was an early text game for pcs. The game was called Zork. At the beginning of the game, the text refers to an endless stairway. I think if you go up, the stairway continues forever, but if you go down, you gain entrance to the kingdom of Zork. The stairway connected my brainwaves to Zork.
In post processing I:
Removed the building on the right
Changed the sky to something other than dull, including between all the steps
Added some more rust to the steps
Added a light behind the door, at least in some of the version
Put some light rain into the foreground
The first result was Sky Door #1, below. It was a bit dark on cell phones and tablets, so I settled for SKY DOOR #2
Later on I played with other variations. This is all one Photoshop file with multiple layers turned on or off a necessary.
When the first incarnation was submitted to judging at a local camera club, it got a 9 out of 9, so I figured I was on my way.