Ask a different person and you will get a different answer to this one. If you look at the definition in the dictionary you will find ‘The art or practice of taking and processing photographs’ as the definition according to the Oxford English Dictionary. This is roughly where I am. In the simple form as long as what you have taken is the same form in the final image then for me that’s photography. Others would argue that combining photographic images from different shots is photography. Yes it is for me until the final image is false and doesn’t represent the original scene shot. For instance if the original image is of a landscape and you add a building or object which doesn’t or cannot exists in reality. However this doesn’t mean these Artistic images don’t have an important place and they require skill to pull off. So I thought I’d give it ago and learn a little Photoshop along the way. To do this I took 2 images of the same landscape at sunset. As is often the problem here balancing the sky and foreground if difficult so combining 2 images that show the different aspects was my initial objective, hence keeping within my photographic boundaries. The image used are below using a Nikon Z6 with a 16-35mm f4 Nikon lens 3 sec, f8, iso100 @30mm

1/4 sec, f8, iso 100 @30mm

Combining these using layers and masking the overexposed sky in the first photo gave a good balance of the sunset and the building and vines in the winter evening.

However, I didn’t want to stop there this time even though I was happy with the outcome. Adding a moon I thought would add that little extra interest and a wow factor, maybe. The following image was taken on a clear evening using a 200-500mm lens on a tripod using Nikon D750. I’ve had it for a few months. Now was the time to use it.

The moon was selected and masked from its original image removing the black background. Then the layer was blended using the colour dodge option, this allowed it to appear to be merged into the output of the previous two images. The resulting ‘Artistic’ image made of 3 different photographs but From different scenes which would not all occur naturally, i find very pleasing but is it photography or photographic art? Either way I like it, which is the important outcome. Enjoy!

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