Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Letting Your Work Breath

Good Monday from Prospect.

My favourite of the set. Processed through Nik Silver Efex.

This one comes out of a long and frustrating winter for me. I'm not a fan of winter shooting so I tend to shoot indoors and spend time going back over the years work.

I also take the time to update myself on new gear and software. Honing the skill set is always a good thing.

What I want to address is all those images we keep that don't make our first cuts. 

As all photographers know we hold onto, no, protect, every image we ever shoot, unless of course they are pure black or white.

It's not that they totally suck but are rather just over looked in comparison to what we had in mind when shooting. Sometimes we just over look a few gems.

There is a value in allowing your work breath. Taking a moment to go back and search for those images you may have passed over.

For instance here's one that, although I thought was okay but not great, turned out to be a wonderful image. When I went back to the RAW files, yup the Raw ones, I realized how good and interesting it is.

If this had been just a jpeg and fully processed I never would have had the opportunity to reprocess and bring out what truly makes it good.

This is the original (as shot). (ISO 100, f6.7, 1/180sec at 35mm)
I thought it was okay but I was more interested in everything else
I shot that day to put it up front
I regularly shoot RAW + JPEG. The Jpeg allows me to quickly and effectively meet short deliveries (especially when I need an image for social sharing) or to discuss the final goal with my client. I can even set my jpeg small enough to email, right out of the box, then go to the RAW and process for high res delivery. Yes this may take a bit more space but compared to duplicating files for back-up it's minimal.

Learned my lesson in 2010 following the New7Wonders of Nature campaign, for the Bay of Fundy Tourism Partnership, advisory week events. Fortunately we made wifi stops on the road so I could process in the car until we arrived at an access point. But now I can shoot the jpeg, upload it to my ipad, attach a description and email from anywhere I have 3G. 

Slight HDR processing makes this a great colour shot,
but I think the B&W is best. Comment and tell me your choice.
Wish I had that when we were covering the event. To meet the on road demand I had to quickly update my laptop so I had enough power to process on the road and connect to the hotspots. I had a G4 Powerbook that just wasn't up to the task and ended up buying the last MacBook Pro available in Halifax and prep it over night to hit the road the next day (one of those last minute things).

I know it seems a bit much but you have to be prepared to meet the clients requests. Fortunately I was prepared for an upgrade, just not that one. I had just added an iMac (planned to process the images when I got back not on the road) and wanted to hold off on the laptop upgrade until I figured out what would fit best. Don't get me wrong, this macbook is great, just a little over kill. A mac air would have done as great a job beefed up to my needs and smaller to carry. Oh well, next one.

Any way, to get back on topic, here's what the original looked like. Not a wonder but has potential. I recently opened this up in Nik Silver Efex Pro and did a BW conversion. I don't know if you agree with me but what a difference. Diamond in the rough for sure.

So let your work breath. Go back over them during times of the year you're not shooting, like the dead of winter, and don't be afraid to experiment. Above all shhot those in RAW and you'll find you have a lot more to work with than you thought you did.

Enjoy, Derek

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