It is my belief that even with modern technology at play, taking a photograph with a camera today and then processing the result afterwards, is essentially the same as it was when the process was first invented. Back then, the process was “analog” and involved film negatives being developed usually by hand in a traditional photographer’s darkroom. Today, this is all done digitally in–camera, and then afterwards on a computer using some form of digital processing software. In each case, the photographer’s intent was to recreate as best they could, what the camera lens saw when the shutter was clicked. Additionally, many photographers sought to apply some form of artistic expression to the image produced, similar to how a painter on canvas might do, in order to achieve a desired level of artistic creativity. In our cynical world of today, many so–called photographic “purists”, decry the use of any digital alteration to an out–of–camera image, believing that such alters reality. Strangely, these same purists seem to find nothing wrong with creating a black & white photograph from a color original. How “real” is that? This “back and forth” concerning camera image post–processing will probably never end. Still, it is my belief that a photographer can do what they want with any image they create with a film or digital camera (proper journalistic ethics aside). It’s their choice, not the critics in the bleachers who only want it “their way”. The image above was taken with a Panasonic Lumix LX3 digital camera near Girdwood Alaska last July, and then later processed digitally using Topaz Simplify, in order to make it appear like an oil painting. It was my choice to do so because I thought it would look nice that way.