The Importance of Seeing beyond the Photo
Nobody takes outstanding photos all the time; not even the top professional! The Importance of Seeing beyond the Photo to me lies in seeing the image before we actually take it – just like the true artist painter has an inner vision of what he wants to project onto the canvas with colors… and being an artist myself I know about the inner struggle of getting close to that picture… and how hard it actually is to capture it… if at all!
Coming back to Digital Photography – the topic of this month’s Ycademy Seminar – the fact is that very often we sort of rush into a picture – be it for lack of time or to just quickly catch that fleeting image as we pass in order to remember it… brief: we see something … something beyond the photo we actually carry home. So while the imperfect if not lousy picture – yet enhanced by our personal experience and vision – may be one thing, we now have to translate it into something that talks, that’s dramatic, expressive or beautiful to look at for others.
That’s when Post-Editing comes into play, be it with all the brilliant tools Adobe Photoshop has to offer or, to add even more sophistication and ease, OnOne Professional Tools.
That’s where the top professional distinguishes himself: pre-editing by composing the perfect image he wants to take – either by taking the right time in any natural environment or by including the right setup for studio shots where he would need say the make-up, styling and especially the lighting of a model with or without background. After careful selection of certain photos from the whole lot – this will then be followed by post-editing, applying certain filters, masks and effects… often the photographer’s secret ‘brand’ or the studio-brand… just as we have the possibility to do with our post-editing tools. It’s all about educating the eye, having a feeling for trends and the taste of the time and then knowing how to use our camera and post-editing tools.
The Importance of Seeing beyond the Photo
The untouched Greek seascape presented to us at the Ycademy Seminar for personal enhancement (see below) is a perfect example to demonstrate the Importance of seeing beyond the Photo.
Here we have the photographer capturing a subtle Greek sunset casting a flat mirror onto ink-colored water with tiny silhouettes of boats at the rosy horizon and flanked bottom left and right by dark memories of land. It’s the photographer’s memory… which can be improved technically up to a certain point… and this was part of the exercise yesterday.
But then there is my instant inner vision, inner interpretation… based on my own memories of light, water and sea and especially flying fish during my windsurfing and diving times in the Philippines that let me immediately see something else… and while improving certain issues – like the horizon, higher tonal range and sharpness etc – I was completely carried away expressing what I saw in this photo… or rather beyond this photo -, giving it my personal interpretation and touch – and these post-editing tools are perfect to do so. The result was “Anchovies Dream” above! it may please others or not – but it’s filled with my own memories… and I went back in time and I was there again… and when I look at the image I see and remember it all … the schools of flying fish, the light, islands at the distant horizon, the transparency of the sea around coral reefs set against the mystery of dark night-dives… and all beyond the volcano’s eye…
Mastering the Technique of Post-Editing Tools
There’s a clear difference between ‘playing around’ with effects and Mastering the Technique of Post-Editing Tools. However, it helps to get familiar with tools and their possibilities to then apply the correct tools to bring alive the inner Vision.
Joy is important and furthers Creativity, taking away the fear of all that complex and daunting ‘technical stuff’. So start with the first approach to see and understand what each filter or mask does – taking good notes of each ‘effect’ – and then using each very sparcely but extremely targeted to help define the photo or image in the way you see, feel and know it inside… or to simply present better photos and higher quality images.
Each picture should have a soul – that’s the way it communicates, touches and … ‘talks’.