Friday, January 16, 2009

Process, Not Product

I was dialoging today with one of my photo students on the class discussion page, and she was remarking how nice it is with digital cameras these days to be able to take multiple pictures of a subject until you get just the right one. I responded that it is often the case that you sort of "feel" your way into the subject as you shoot. It's much the same way with writing – you tend to 'warm up" and "get on a roll" as you pound away on the keyboard.

As an example of this, I'd like to talk about the next four photos. Most of us in Northern Indiana had a heavy snowfall the other day, so I went out on my back porch with my little Nikon 10 megapixel point and shoot to capture the feeling of the morning. This is what I got with my first snap; not very interesting:

Then I saw our snow encrusted humming bird feeder, and said, "ha, ha"; but still sort of boring and "static":

Then I said to myself, "Worth – rule of three's creates a dynamic imbalance to a picture": picture is less boring, but a little drab:

Enter Photoshop; I lightened the whole picture, then I lassoed the feedings cups and increased their hue and saturation, then I lassoed the central flower ornament, and did the same to it. Now I think I have a pretty snappy picture:

The moral of this lesson is that a good photograph is a process, not a product.


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