Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Thoughts on Photography

I used to claim to be a purist.  But that was when I faithfully took film shots and left it up to the lab to do my printing.

Along came the digital camera and I was not not not going to go there.
But in the end I gave in and got a little point and shoot digital Olympus Stylus camera. And the digital age took me by storm.

And then I acquired my first Photoshop program to learn with.  Photoshop 7.0.
I enjoyed working with the program and becoming creative with it.

But I still wanted basically to remain true to the photo.


Now you can get Adobe Lightroom $9.99 for per month.

Adobe CC their slogan...Take It/Make It. Software for rent.
The slogan they have bothers me a bit.

Take It/Make It.
I think it gives the wrong message to budding photographers.


To me it says, take the photo, 'rent' our software and we can teach you how to make a great photo.
But is it a new normal for photography?
Granted you do need software to make .RAW files into .jpegs or other useful files.  


I also don't buy into the fact that you cannot take good photos unless you have the Industry Standard Photo Editing Software or the most expensive lenses and most expensive cameras.
However I suffer camera envy and lens envy with the best of them.

Whatever happened to learning to use a camera and exploring its capabilities first?  The internet it full of online photography classes.


How to edit your photos into a masterpiece!
Learn Photography, a Tutorial!


I will also say that yes, I do use editing software.  But I go for 'the shot' and try to make it as correct as possible first and not afterwards.

I take it and then may have to touch it up.

 Original

Edited to take out the noise from the long exposure on the moving water in this shot.
ISO 200
f/20
60 second exposure
Olympus E-420
ND filter

I most certainly didn't need that long of an exposure and could have done with a slower one, but the ND filter was a 10 stop filter. Very dark.  I could have gone with a lighter one, but the sun was so bright and I enjoy seeing how far I can push exposures.

The shot itself is not one to write home about.  I was trying to get the rocks and the ice crystal clear and allow the  water to be ultra smooth.  Instead I 'sort of' got it. 

I assume if I spent enough time working on this shot, I could enhance the ice and the rocks.  But this shot doesn't shout at me as being that great. 
So I passed on spending hours in a software program making a great photo.  
I plainly missed hitting the mark on this shot. 
More than likely if I'd not gone with such a long exposure I would have gotten something much nicer.


Here is another shot I took with a Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd S1413 pink point and shoot camera. I was walking along the snowmobile trail and pulled the camera out of my breast pocket and choose Landscape as the setting.


No editing other than the water mark.

Then I did take it to CorelPaintShopProX7 and used Topaz BW Effects 2 to get this.

ISO 100
f 7.2
1/1166 seconds
No filters

You guessed it, I am guilty of 'making' a dramatic black and white shot from a color shot.

The difference here is that I knew the capabilities of Topaz BW Effects and as I looked at the scene in front of me, I thought of how it would be composed in black and white.
I didn't just shoot a random shot.  I knew how the clouds would add drama against the blue sky when I shot it.  

I knew from old school film that in black and white photography the red filter would whiten the clouds and darken the blue sky.

And simply, I really liked the composition of the shot.
Of all the shots I took that day hiking in and out of the valley, this is the one I think was my best.



This was my the second shot I took in a portrait view to catch more of the sky, but I like the first one better.

Then there was the neat ice formations.


Unedited


Edited to show details and cropped

It is a pretty shot and one of interest to me because of the delicate frost forming. But not stunning or electrifying.  

And lastly just something for fun.

I spent a lot of time last week crouching and kneeling on the snow and ice.


Did I mention I love photography in the winter?


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