Enlightment Photo Arts was created primarily to display and/or sell fine-art photographic images and Audio-Visual Slideshows. The Public Galleries portion of this website (now deleted) mostly comprises fine-art images, but also includes examples from the other photographic categories discussed below. The content of the albums in this gallery is the intellectual property of Enlightenment Photo Arts, and is provided on this website for the enjoyment of the public and for potential sale. Use of the images in the Showcase Gallery is strictly limited to viewing on a computer screen. Any attempt to download these images without explicit written permission from Enlightenment Photo Arts is a violation of copyright law. High-resolution archival display prints of most of the images in the Showcase Gallery may be purchased at very reasonable prices. Please see the Purchasing section of this website. Most of the content of the Family Galleries portion of this website (now deleted) consists of images that mainly fall under the category of Sentimental Photography, discussed below. The Family Galleries are of interest to only a limited audience and access to these galleries is restricted (via passwords) to such people. The second goal of Enlightenment Photo Arts is to be a vehicle for the presentation of educational materials on various aspects of photography. It is anticipated that some of this material will be provided as a free service and some will be on paid basis. The section of the website entitled E-Books/Tutorials is reserved for this purpose. This section is currently under development.
Categories of Photography
Photography may be broadly divided into four categories, although there is a considerable amount of cross-over among these categories. In fine-art photography, the objective is to artistically impress the viewer and evoke an emotional response. To be classified as photography, some or all of the image content must originate in the camera, but therafter anything goes as far as image enhancement or modification is concerned. In the parlance of digital photography, the expression is "pixel manipulation." Enhancements include, but are not limited to, adjustment of exposures, contrast and saturation, as well as modifications of color values and tonalities. Blurring or sharpening may be applied to all or parts of the image. Design elements may be modified, compositional elements may be added, deleted, moved or cloned. Images may be combined in part or in total. The emphasis is on the end result, rather than on the methods of achieving that result. We are extremely fortunate today to live in an era in which readily available software tools provide us with powerful and versatile methods to implement almost any enhancement imaginable. We even have the capability of making our images appear to have been produced by traditional painting techniques of all kinds. In photojournalistic photography, the primary objective is the realistic recording of events of all kinds, from historical to sports and everything in between. This however by no means precludes the evocation of an emotional response in the viewer, but this emotion is triggered by the realism within the image rather than by a fiction created by the image-maker. Enhancements are typically cosmetic, limited to technical adjustments, such as exposure correction, image sharpening and appropriate cropping. Use of color tonality, such as monochromacity (black and white) for emphasis of impact is allowable. Commercial photography is pretty much self explanatory. A primary objective is to aid in the selling or promotion of a product or concept of some kind. Image enhancement is completely acceptable, but the end result must be credible. Also included in this category is evidentiary photography, which should be free of any enhancements. Sentimental photography is pretty much everything else, but the term "sentimental" should not be interpreted in a pejoritive sense. This category broadly includes the vast amounts of family snapshots and the "we were there" photographs of scenery. Emphasis is on the content of the image, and technical or artistic excellence are often not of prime importance. However, also included in this category are professional portrait and wedding photography, which do demand a high degree of technical excellence and artistry.