I started doing photography in black and white and developing my own work back in my college days. Our teacher was a well known Photo-journalist in this area, but as an Artist at heart, he encouraged both as passions to follow. My friends and I leaned heavily towards the visual arts. I shifted to color, and nature photography, years later but still tend to 'see' in black and white so many of my photo's will run from pure white to pure black while including the color spectrum between. Most of my nature photography is done in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is generally off the traditional tourist path mostly, both figuratively and literally.
Along with straight nature photography I also do what I call 'altered photography'. Some of which are intentionally meant to provoke, not answers, but insight, meaning, or simply poses a question. I express something then it's about what the viewer internalizes for, or about, themselves. Some aren't meant to be anything other than art done with photography. Some reflect the Literary, some Impressionism or Surrealism.
Doing altered photography has become easier today with the advent of the computer, photographic software and digital photography as many of us have found. With many of my works definite challenges abound in melding two, three and more elements into one photo making it appear as a single photograph. Lighting is one challenge to overcome and there are many more problems involved at times, as many who do the same as I do have found out. Simple cut and paste just won't cut it. One thing it's not is Photo-journalism and never should be passed as Photo-journalism. Art yes, since that's what altered photo's are, or should be.
Purists have their place and there are purists of one sort or another in all fields and that's fine, but as it's be said many times before, change is inevitable and Art is part of that engine. It should be inclusionary rather than exclusionary. The lines are blurred more often than not between commercial and art photography as is evident with the use of altered photography in advertising. There's no great leap there from advertising photography to altered photography. They are the same except that one advertises, along with words, expressing a product and the other doesn't.
A professional photographer once told me he likes my work but not how I do it, I like his too, and don't care how he does it. To me it's the end product that makes Art, and the process is the expertise to do it. He doesn't disagree with that.
I've been honored to have both my straight and altered works juried into Fine Art shows and many have taken Awards. I've also been published but alas unpaid. All of the photo's I use in my Altered works are my own except for the planets which are from the NASA and Hubble public domain Archives.