National Geographic Says …

Director of Photography of National Geographic Says ...I have been writing about the excessive editing of digital images and how unnecessary these edits are. I even challenged the PSA and other photographic organizations to discourage these ill-conceived practices.

Along these lines, I wrote a comment on a post on Lightroom Killer Tips which I think is maintained by Matt Kloskowski, one of the gurus of Photoshop family of products. My post did not get approved. After a few weeks I wrote another post which I am quoting here (I sent a copy to myself this time before posting):

I posted a comment which essentially encouraged this and other sites to stop pushing “HDR Look” since HDR has no looks. The proper concept to promote can perhaps be called imaginative tone mapping (ITM) or creative tone mapping (CTM), adventures in tone mapping (ATM). For some reason that post did not get approved. Before I wrote a post about that, I thought I would attempt to get a response from the site’s admin. I will appreciate a reply, e-mail is fine, why my comment was not approved?


Cemal Ekin

This comment did not get approved either, nor did it get a response. Maybe I was expecting too much, but a simple e-mail would have been nice whatever it said. They are perpetuating this “HDR Look” idea which has no technical or photographic basis whatsoever. I understand that he may give them away or sell these presets and others like to repeat what he has produced. That is not creativity, that is not imagination, it is simply an efficient way of creating cliches. Use filters, presets, produce images that look like hundreds, maybe thousands of others, and call that photography? I think not. And, you know what, even National Geographic seems to agree, I really appreciate hearing big names to express opinion on these matters. What I say is easy to ignore, but when National Geographic talks, people (should) listen. The director of photography of National Geographic says, among other things: “SOLARIZATION, MEZZOTINT, DUOTONE, ETC.: No. If you use one of the myriad alteration “filters” available in your digital photo software, please stop.” I will not quote the entire post but it is well worth the read and to head the advice. You can read the statement in full on the National Geographic Web site.

I realize the call of digital Sirens may be too seductive, but getting dragged by these calls has wrecked many a ship.


  1. Sal Capirchio says

    Can’t believe they won’t respond. Looks like you got your answer without getting an answer. They must like “the look”.

    • A. Cemal Ekin says

      Of course they like “the look”! And, apparently they do not want to hear a different, polite, and reasoned opinion.

  2. Jude Plante says


    Sounds like that Mr. K’s blog takes its marching orders from PSA.

    Perhaps if you posted about the wonders of the fractalius plugin you’d get published. After all, only true artists use that plugin ;-)

    • A. Cemal Ekin says

      Craptalius! Master of the universe plugin. Did you see the opening photo on the next post, your bike might have been among them. See you soon.