Bethesda Snow

No matter how many images I put up in the store, there is always a request for something that I have sitting around on a disk somewhere – and this shot popped up when I was asked for shots of the Bethesda Fountain.  Given the disgusting weather we have in New York – which is only natural during the dog days of summer – I thought this would be a nice cool post.  Not exactly what anyone wants (probably) when they think of the Bethesda Fountain – but it has that nice lonely feeling that I like in my photographs.  Solitary man against the backdrop of the city.  There’s a nice bit of dialogue in Three Days of the Condor when Robert Redford does a brief review of Fay Dunnaway’s photographs.


Confessional: I removed two garbage cans on either side of the shot with PS.  Was I wrong?  Did I break the almighty don’t tinker with the shot rules?  Am I no longer a truthful photographer?  Can I live with this.  Uhm, yes.  But as long as I’m confessing, there was a slight bit of a tree on the right sticking into the shot and I cloned that out.  OMG.  What have I done.  Would I have done this if I had been shooting film.  OMG, I think I have.   Which scan was it… Oh no… I don’t remember anymore…  I think I put extra clouds into one shot… And I know I took some scratches out of Poet’s Walk…  but that’s just retouching isn’t it…  I used to have to spot that with every darkroom print…  I should have had a duped negative with the corrections…

But to remove something that is in the picture, no matter how small, or how annoying…  those garbage cans were part of the framing I used… and now I removed them with a few swipes of the clone brush…  what have I done to the original truth…

Well it’s not a documentary shot…  is it?  No, I just wanted that one person walking by the fountain, is that so bad?   But wait a minute, I just remembered something, I think there were other people, no not other people, but someone had left their backpack in the foreground and I wiped that out too…  Oh, I’m a goner…  the angel was too dark and I lightened it up… oh my, the list goes on…  is there a digital priest that I can confess to and say something to undo this sin… luckily I have an appointment with my shrink in two weeks… I’ll make the confession to him, but he won’t say anything other than, “I’m afraid your time is up.”

I need a digital priest to confess to.  A site where I can make these Photoshop confessions and find out how bad they are and what to do to make amens.  Is there such a thing?


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

5 thoughts on “Bethesda Snow”

  1. As a (sadly) occassional visitor to NYC, I never see Bethesda Fountain this way – it’s really beatiful, Dave!

    I would say this is my favorite place in all of Central Park, which means it’s in my top three or four places in Manhattan.

  2. “Three Days of the Condor” is one of my faves. There is a similar scene in the movie “Serpico” where Pacino looks over photos taken by a women he has met. Those photos have a very 1970’s aesthetic that pleases me a lot whenever I see this movie.

  3. I think you might want to consult with a rabbi on the kosherness of your digital transgressions. Shalom.

  4. trouble with the rabbis is that they don’t give absolution. as a general rule, they make me feel even more guilty. i will try to find the photAoshop digital anonymous help group. i’ve heard about them and you start each session by confessing that you are a photoshop abuser.

    then you find a sponsor who helps you stay clean and straight and not make artistic changes to photographs.

    yes, cleaning is okay… but if you do anything that you wouldn’t have been able to do in the darkroom then you are forced to confess to the group and start all over again.

    so far, i am one day clean, but this is because i haven’t gone into photoshop today. the withdrawal symptoms are horrible. you see things that would improve the picture, and you can’t do anything about it.

    but as i say, i’m one day clean. PSA (photoshop anonymous)

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