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Metropolis / So SoCal

Sunlight Dialogues

September 21, 2003

Even before modernist innovators such as Alfred Stieglitz began to explore photography as an art form, its status as an "objective" record of literal reality was open to debate. These days, however, digital technology has taken the medium's creative possibilities into a new era. Thanks to Photoshop and similar programs, the lines between photography, collage, sometimes even drawing and painting, are growing ever blurrier. In "Desert Realty" (Los Angeles Times Books, 2003), Ed Freeman plays with the fantasy-versus-reality division in digitally edited renderings of his own photos of (largely) abandoned buildings in the Southern California deserts. Freeman, who teaches Photoshop at Santa Monica College, worked as a music producer, engineer and arranger before becoming a full-time photographer in 1991. He is working on a follow-up series centered on buildings in urban Los Angeles.

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