Knowing how to use the tools….

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich, Photography, Photomatix, Photoshop, RLC Design Leave a Comment

Doesn’t mean you’re going to get great results.  Heck, you might not even use them!

How many digital imaging books have I read over the past few years?  Too many to count.  And guess what…..  I understand the mechanics of everything going on in the programs I use today.  Does that mean every image I produce is going to be a winner?

No.  Not even close.

I’ve read books authored by some of the big names in Photoshop.  Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, Ben Wilmore, and many more.  Heck, I’ve watched DVDs from each of them as well.  And I’m pretty darned proficient with the programs I use every day.  Photoshop, Lightroom, and Photomatix.  I could show you through the features and you’d learn something for sure.

That’s all good.  But there’s more to it than just knowing your way around a program…..

See, you’ve got to have an idea for what you want the final result to be.  If that’s not in your head all the program knowledge in the world won’t help you one bit!

I remember when I first read the 7 Point System for Adobe Photoshop by Scott Kelby.  By the time I’d finished the book I was very confident in my processing skills.  As I read further into the book I anticipated what would come next, and I’d start on my own.  All very good.  But then it hits you.

gleeson-1-of-1Which images in my own personal collection could use these techniques?  I know where to start, but what do I want to do with the image?  Is the image in today’s post “complete”?  Maybe I should totally scrap it….or maybe it needs a little work…..  I don’t know.  :)

See, there’s the key to it.  You’ve got to have a vision for where you want to take an image after you’ve captured it.  Does the sky need more umph?  Do the details in the shadows really matter?  Would a broken piece of glass in the foreground look better enhanced, or should you buff it right out of the image?

There’s the one thing none of the books can teach you.  Identifying what you want to do with your images.  That’s when it’s left all up to you, and you have to go and do that creative thing!  🙂  For whatever people thing of digital photography, image processing, and “Photoshopping,” in the end it does come down to your creative desires!  On Ben Wilmore’s DVD on HDR he repeats often that in the end it’s up to your taste and what you want to achieve with the image.  And he’s right.

Gee, I wonder if there’s a class or book on capturing and identifying good images?  And once you’ve gotten them, knowing where to take them next……Oh, wait, it’s up to your taste.  Wonder if there’s a class on developing better preferences when it comes to images?  🙂

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