I will be the first to admit my sincere love of post processing. While I have an immense appreciation for the PJs out there who grab those fleeting moments in life in an unadulterated and unedited way, I do also get so much joy from just opening up an image and going to work with fusing my imagination into the shot.
That is my #1 reason for why I love photography, and art, in general. Whenever you enter a subjective arena, the concepts of right and wrong or good and bad become a very shady grey. It’s on me to master the technique of capturing the image using my camera and lens but it doesn’t stop there.
As a digital photographer, I also have a massive arsenal of software tools that allow me to graft my imagination and creativity onto the image. If there is a particular mood I am in at the time, I can sway the shot to reflect that. Or if there was a movie that really resonated with me in terms of its stylization and cinematography, I can use those muses, too.
The key is to not get pigeon-holed into doing the same thing over and over, ad nauseam. Change things up. Try different techniques. Study the works of the photographers in your circles, especially the ones who really get you jazzed. What is it about their work that resonates? Don’t just passively sway your eyes across their images. Spend some time. Soak it in. Think about it!
And don’t stop there. Strike a conversation about it. Pose questions. Try to gain something and learn something. We’re here, all of us, because we have an innate desire to share. We shouldn’t just stop at sharing our work. There is knowledge behind the work. And this is the sort of knowledge that needs to be shared. It’s how a thriving community can continue to thrive.
All of these images that we all share – they are gifts to each other and for each other. Let’s treat them as such.
In terms of the image below, I took it during the 2011 Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk in Port Townsend, WA with, and my two crazies, and . The primary leading lines were created based on how I ended up framing the dock in my frame. I used a Lee Big Stopper 10-stop ND filter to get my long exposure, allowing me to further convey motion of the clouds.
I decided to go with a blue-toned B&W conversion – heavy on the contrast, heavy on amplifying the whites (mostly to wipe away the water). I added more contrast to the sky to bring out the clouds and give a sense of directionality.
The dock was processed in Perfect Effects 3 by, adding the Tonal Contrast effect to pop the texture of the wood.
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