My name is Paul Burd. I'm a Multimedia Designer, currently living in San francisco. I first became interested in photography in the early 80's, and I've had an on-again, off-again interest ever since.
About 'Highly Subjective':
I started this site on June 19th, 2006. With a renewed interest in photography, I wanted a way to show my work, and keep myself motivated to shoot. Since I thoroughly enjoy maintaining my other blog, I thought a photoblog would be an ideal solution.
The name, Highly Subjective, plays on the old saying, "pictures don't lie". I personally don't agree with that statement. Pictures do lie, and in today's digital world, they lie with unprecedented ease.
Photographs have always been open to interpretation. All photographers, be they fine art or photojournalists, take photographs with various degrees of intent... to make you, the viewer, see things from a certain point of view. Added to that, the viewer brings with them their own background and life experiences that will further influence how they read the images. At best, photographs should always be viewed as highly subjective.
You can send me an email at: highlysubjective [at] mac -dot- com
My thoughts on digital manipulation:
Some photographers will tell you that image manipulation through the use of digital tools, such as Photoshop, is 'cheating'. Some of them call themselves 'purists'. Personally, I don't understand what they are being pure to. Those photographers have either forgotten what you could do in the darkroom, or they were never in the darkroom to begin with.
Image manipulation is nothing new, it's been around since the fist picture was taken. The first round of manipulation starts in the camera. A photographer can heavily manipulate an image through composition, exposure, depth of field, and even filters. The next round would have traditionally taken place in the darkroom. Darkroom manipulation goes way beyond simple burning and dodging. With a little skill, patients, and the right set of tools, paper, chemicals, etc... there is very little that you could not achieve in the darkroom. Photoshop is simply another tool in the arsenal of today's photographers. It's an extension of the darkroom metaphor. I personally don't see anything wrong with it.
The site's design:
Pixelpost (my photoblogging software) comes with a template called "Simple". Yovko Lambrev took the Simple template and used it to create a new template called "Simple-Visions", and distributed it under a Creative Commons Attribution License. I in-turn took the Simple-Visions template, combined it with elements from the original Simple template, and added a few items of my own. I call this new template, "Simple-Visions-Mellencamp". My variation of the template is distributed under the same Creative Commons License, and can be downloaded below. Feel free to customize it to your hearts content. The template is offered as-is, without warranty. By downloading it, you agree not to hold me responsible for anything that goes wrong.
Below is a list of links that you may find are useful in getting your blog up and running:
My other sites: