For me creating a photo is a three step process:
The first step is looking at your photos and reviewing your work, making sense of it, comparing it to the best and trying to figure what you would do differently if you had the chance to go back. When you take the time to look at your work you start noticing things you wouldn’t see otherwise. You notice the similarities in photos, you notice things you do consciously or unconsciously, you start noticing the characteristics of your gear and how they effect the image. You learn how to make the best out of the equipment you have.
Eventually you develop a set of rules or guidelines to go by so when you have a camera you don’t really have to think too much. You kind of know what you’re looking for so can rely instinct and sensitivity for everything else.
Unless I have an emotional connection to a particular image, I don’t even really like looking at my old photos anymore. It gets too annoying because there are so many things I would have done differently.
The second step is being in the moment taking photos. I love and hate this part; Taking photos is fun but it builds a great anxiety because you want things to be perfect. Sometimes ill have an idea and by the time it gets to the point where I can click the shutter, the reality is completely different than imagined. Sometimes the reality is better but most of it times it isn’t. I’m still working on refining the process of shooting, I learn something new every day. Sometimes when I’m just out shooting on the street ill get into a zone where I just clear my mind and everything I shoot is good. Some of my best photos were taken within minutes of each other. That rarely happens though haha.
3. The Final step is editing. I think this is one of the most important parts but most people don’t ever talk about it. I’ve been learning how to edit photos on my own for a few years and I’m still trying to perfect my look. When I decide how to edit a photo, the first thing I think about is context.
When I started out I would make every photo look the same way but life isn’t like that, life is fluid. A snapshot should give off a certain mood, a different mood then you would have in say advertisement or editorial. Its up to you to decide what mood or feeling you want to express.
I realized that putting effort in editing a photo you can can add so much to it, it can be the difference between a good and great photo. I’ve also realized that some photos don’t really need much and going overboard can take away from it, its all about finding the right balance and knowing when to stop or keep going. You can spend hours doing something to a photo that most people wouldn’t even notice, they will feel it though.
Back in the day, the greats would put an unimaginable amount of time time into developing photos in a dark room. All that time and effort turned them into masters at their craft because you learn so much. I think even putting in half that work with Photoshop could produce great results down the road. Time is money though, so I usually spent a lot less time editing my professional/commercial stuff then I do the stuff I post online.
Lightroom is great for editing tones and colors, Photoshop is essential when you need to get technical.
I use photo shop CS5 and Lightroom 4 for editing. Havent tried the teleconverter yet but I want one.
Whenever im out and browsing my dashboard on another computer, every 3rd post that comes up on my feed contains nudity. This only happens when I’m not home.
I’m so I happy found photography; having a vocation that you’re constantly trying to improve at enriches you as a person. The more I discover what I’m trying to do with photography, the more I learn about myself. The more comfortable am holding a camera, the more comfortable I feel in my own skin.
A lot of people have been telling me they like my new shit and what made me change.
I had to change my way of thinking ; I took an uncomfortable look at myself in an attempt to figure out what I was doing, where I was going, and most importantly what I want. This is hard to admit but I realized that my motivations were not from a good place. Honestly, I wanted to be famous because I saw it happen to other people around me. Half my effort was spent trying to figuring out ways to get noticed.
I didn’t have a respect for the craft; I thought it was easy and something that just came natural to me. I thought I was better than I actually was.
There are no short cuts in life, if you want to get good at something you need to have a respect for the craft. That means putting in hours practicing, experimenting, and exposing you to the best stuff out there.
It’s all about the journey, not the rewards. Don’t wish for money or fame those aren’t real things. Unearned money and unearned fame can disappear as fast as it comes and you’ll have no way to get it back. When I stopped caring about accolades and started focused on doing the best I could do, the work got easier, better, and I realized what I was trying to do. Eventually more people started liking my stuff in a real way ie spending their hard earned cash on my work, something I’m so grateful for.
I hate talking about myself or my work because I still feel like it’s still lacking but I’m getting there. Life is just a process of “getting there”.
Letting go is easier said than done.
Letting go of the past, letting go of wanting to prove people wrong who didn’t believe in you, letting go of your insecurities, letting go of your fears, letting go of the need to compete.
It’s so hard to let go of the things holding you back but once you do it you’re free. I hate to sound like a new age type dude but I had to get out of bed and type this. I couldnt sleep.