The more you work with photographs, particularly with electronic equipment, the more you realize that there is no such thing as “realistic.” Modern cameras have multiple settings that determine how “realistic” your photos will be. Photoshop and an amazing number of plugins allow you to manipulate “reality” in remarkable ways.
These two immature swallows were too far apart to capture in a single shot, but Photoshop made it easy to join the shots and then move them closer together.
These two were sitting right next to each other, but I wanted a different effect than the original shot so I played around with it in Photoshop to make it look more like a drawing or watercolor.
Now, more than ever, photography has become its own art form, but it’s still the artist’s mind that that really decides what the viewer sees. It’s always been that way, of course, but some would have you believe otherwise.