Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Art of the Edit, or Lack Thereof

These last few weeks, I have been trying to work on the functional side of my business; working on the evil SEO and trying to find other ways to get people to find me.  In this process, I have also read quite a few articles about photography.  The thing that stuck with me about most of them, is that everyone is talking about photoshop actions. 

For those of you who don't know, a photoshop action is a set of commands that photoshop will run over each of your photograph and adjust lighting, contrast, and other settings depending upon the action.  They can be very useful when you are working with a large batch of photographs that you want to have a similar feel or you are re-sizing image.  I use one for saving things for web use.

My problem comes, when there are dozens upon dozens of photographers out there, using the same style of lighting, same warm glow or what have you instead of having a voice of his/her own or letting each photograph speak for itself. 

The other thing that I realized while reading these articles, was that, though I do use photoshop to develop my photographs, I don't do a lot of editing to my work anymore.  I shoot in RAW which is somewhat similar to a film negative.  You cannot view these files without a specific viewer and you have to develop them before being able to print them. 

This is the photograph that I shot.  The exposure is a little off because it was in my dark office and I am shooting the whirling dervish that is my daughter, but otherwise it is not a bad image by itself.  I lowered the color saturation and adjusted the exposure, added a bit more contrast and warmed up the light to create the image at the top of this article.  I let the photograph guide me to the feel the image should convey.

I know that most other photographers out there deal with a lot more images than I do, but that is also part of the problem.  Instead of looking for that one shot out of a hundred, which is what I do with all my art shots, we give our clients 50-60 images out of a hundred to choose from.  We sacrifice our artistic vision because we don't want to step on our clients taste.  The question we need to ask ourselves (and clients probably need to ask themselves as well) is, didn't they choose their photographer for his/her artistic vision?

I think my rant is done.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah McTernen

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