Stab Magazine | The heart of darkness
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The heart of darkness

Despite its infancy, digital photography is taking the dark art of photo manipulation to awsome heights… The headline and sub-head are deliberately provocative. Photographers have been tweaking real life ever since they developed the reality-twisting techniques of pushing, pulling and cross processing their films. Then, along came those miracle films Kodaks 100VS and Fuji’s Velvia […]

news // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Despite its infancy, digital photography is taking the dark art of photo manipulation to awsome heights…

The headline and sub-head are deliberately provocative. Photographers have been tweaking real life ever since they developed the reality-twisting techniques of pushing, pulling and cross processing their films.
Then, along came those miracle films Kodaks 100VS and Fuji’s Velvia – radically saturated celluloid that turned ordinary colours into fireworks of reds and blues. Suddenly, even the hacks were hitting the mother lode.
But all this went out the window with the miracle of digital photography. Men whose lives were devoted to the expert application of their years of knowledge were left redundant, left pondering these new grey, raw digital images.
Lately, however, top-end shooters have been applying treatments that are every bit as spectacular as the old analog methods. And it’s not just about pumping up the blacks or highlights and moving the saturation and contrast sliders to the far right. These are holistic methods that amplify without becoming comical (which Photoshop will do in the wrong hands). The photos in this spread have all been treated by Dustin Humphrey using techniques taken out of digital photography mags and websites and applied to his own images. And always with three self-policed stipulations: no sunrises or sunsets added, no lifting airs, and with no additional elements to the photo. Hump says his primary inspiration has been Gold Coast surfer Dion Agius (featured on this issue’s cover): “I actually got this latest look from Dion Aigus. He’s been doing a lot of creative stuff with his video and photography. He’s a super creative kid, in and out of the water”
Hump, 32, adds: “You can’t stop learning. I could’ve got bummed when film died – I had so much film stock and I knew what I had to do with that particular stock to create unique photos. But, you’ve gotta stay ahead of the game. You’ve gotta mess with things.”
These are the happy results from a recent holiday in Sumbawa, Indonesia.


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