Carol: You make a very interesting point here. As I mentioned on the #9 thread, some years back (pre-dating digital -- for me anyway), I took most of the NYIP correspondence course. Having taken a many year hiatus while trying to get through law school, bar exam, job, mortgage, and young family, I finally found some time to get back into it -- and thought the NYIP course would be a good refresher -- it was, IMO. But I digress . . . . .
I took a few "gems" away from the course. One of them was from a comment made by my "mentor" who critiqued my submissions. He said: We don't "take" photographs; we "make them."
Aside from photojournalism, I don't really care if a photograph represents "reality." A once famous aspiring politician from Alaska said something about "lipstick on a pig." That is my only criteria. A year or so back, I blogged about "honesty" in photography. Don't tell me its Heidi Klum, if its a pig with lipstick. As long as you are willing to acknowledge that its the latter, its just fine with me. And some of us even think pigs aren't all that bad
Seriously, I try to look at an image and say "could" it be? Or, was that what I saw in my "mind's eye" when I was there
. If I can answer the question yes, I don't care that somebody else thinks its "too saturated," or the colors are too intense, or the light is not "believable" (e.g. in a well done HDR blend), etc.
I think we all know by now that every person who observes a scene sees it differently. This is true not only in terms of context and perspective, but also in terms of color, brilliance, contrast, etc. So, I am not saying I have a "problem" with Mark's version at all. It is one of many possible interpretations of the scene. I just prefer -- in this instance -- Al's original, toned-down image (which has got to have Al scratching his head, wondering what he did wrong, since I am agreeing with him on saturation