Artistic Direction - Anthony Mak
  • Artistic Direction

When on commission, Anthony will do as his client wishes, including extreme digital manipulation, if necessary.  But for his own artworks, he abides by a strict code of photographic integrity, as explained below.

As a visual aesthetic choice for his images, Anthony prefers to use older film lenses from the 1960s to 90s, but these lenses are also important for INTENTION as a main consideration of the definition of art.  You can read about Anthony's thoughts on that here.

The boundary between photography and digital creative art is blurred.  It's gradually becoming more acceptable to digitally manipulate images, for instance, replacing skies, removing objects, or adding new content to an image.  

Anthony's take on this is quite simple.  He wants to be known for great photographic skills and not great digital creative skills.  This means he will generally stick to the editing techniques used by film photographers of old with exceptions listed below.

At the heart of his photographic integrity is the drive for authenticity as defined by the use of real light (whether natural or flash) and not to digitally create light.  That's not to say he won't manipulate the light already captured by making it darker or lighter, but adding light that's not there is not photography - it's the domain of a digital creative.  Thus, Anthony prefers not to digitally blur images - any blurring, must be made with real light passing through a real lens, or intentionally shaking the camera.

This means in his portfolio, he will:

- NOT add new content eg. placement of new objects, animals, or people, including not replacing skies.

- remove distracting objects (in the same way artists leave them out of their paintings), because his photographs are not literal, they're not meant as photojournalistic images to capture reality as is, but instead they are meant as an interpretation of reality - they are works of fine art.

- change the colours of items within a scene, eg small objects, or the colour of a person's clothing.

- use High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography to achieve a more perfect exposure of what they human eye sees.  The eye can see as much as 24 f-stops of light, but a camera can only capture around 10-14 f-stops of light. By using HDR, Anthony more faithfully represents what he sees, by providing more visible detail in the highlights and shadows when there is high contrast lighting.

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