Photography starts with seeing something interesting. Then we capture it with our cameras and either preserve it as a personal memory or share it with others. Anything is fair game when it is a personal memory. Sharing images can be casual, but more often than not it is to make an impression on others, either as an artistic statement, or possibly in a competition.
Digital capture is pretty straight forward and today’s cameras do a pretty good job of making a good image. Moving a good image to something better is where craft enters and the end game is your personal art.
Not many photographers had personal darkrooms, but far more work with their images in Lightroom, and quite a few in Photoshop. The photograph has become a more personal statement than ever for anyone who is more than a casual shooter. This means there are new skills to learn.
Those skills start at the camera. How you see in the first place and how you use composition and exposure to control your capture are the first steps in photographic creativity. Then comes either Lightroom or Camera Raw processing to move the capture to essentially a usable image. Much can be done there, but that is far from the end of the process.
Image refinement is similar to taking a sketch to a finished drawing or painting in that the basic idea is not enough. The image you present to others should not be a casual concept, but a polished statement of your vision. Getting from your first capture to the point where you can create this refinement can be a lifelong adventure.
That adventure should be a gratifying experience, but that does not mean it will be quick or easy. Anything worthwhile is a reward paid for with the joy of learning combined with the effort of acquiring new skills. If you learned a musical instrument at some time in your life you can relate the sour notes at the start to the unsophisticated images made with your first camera.
We often just need someone to point out things in our efforts that could be done better, often in ways we didn’t even imagine. This is not a fault, it is simply the way we function and learn. We do not tend to automatically explore options. We need to be made aware. We need guidance. We need to be shown another way.
I will be offering a class at the Hershey Library on Saturday morning October 13th. Rather than the usual demonstrations of how I made a particular image or used a special technique, this will be a class where your images are the source material. How to better see possibilities than to have something you have captured turned into a finished image in a way you may not have envisioned. Your images will be taken through Lightroom and Photoshop to show you how they may be modified and enhanced.
The class starts at 9:30. Requirements for participation are that you bring at least three images on a jump drive, including brackets if available, and be willing to have your images used for demonstration. You will be given the final result as a psd on your drive so you can study what was done after the class.
Sign up for the class at the Hershey Library or by emailing me. The class cost is $40. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.