As I was standing in Yosemite's Tuolumne Meadows a few weeks ago, awaiting the sunset, I was on a sandbar off to the north side of the Tuolumne River east of bridge leading towards Soda Springs. As I stood there framing the shot, I got the elements I liked, and the light was just about to be perfect. The focus of this one was the light dancing upon the top of Cathedral Peak and Unicorn Peak and the trees on the ridgline below it. As the light started to bounce off those treetops and the peaks, I began to snap a few frames. I was delighted.Read More
So I fought it for a year. And I fought it hard. I didn’t want to rent it. I wanted to rightfully own it. The way I have for years. The way we all have for years. Why should I have to ‘rent’ the software I need for my work? Why can’t I buy it anymore? It made no sense. And it didn’t seem right. And it didn’t seem fair. So there was only one thing left to do. Rent the software. Yeah, that’s right, I did it. I made the switch to the Adobe Creative Cloud. And here’s why it finally just had to happen.Read More
When most people think sharpening in Photoshop, they understandably default to the ’Sharpen’ or ‘Unsharp Mask’ filters. But since I learned this trick a few years back, I don’t believe I’ve opened a single one of Photoshop’s native sharpen plugins a single time. Instead, I’ve relied on one of the ‘Other’ filters in that ‘Filter’ menu -Read More
So had a house I had to shoot this week for Airbnb. It was actually the second of two units on a property I shot before, but I hadn't seen the second unit as it was occupied that first time. Anyway, not important…so after I was done shooting the interior, I figured, no one was here, I was going to take advantage of the moment and just kind of chill for a minute. When you're standing on a deck with nothing in front of you but a gorgeous canyon that opens up to the Pacific Ocean (see image at bottom of this post), it's hard not to force yourself to take a break and soak it in. So as I sat down and took a few gulps of my warm ice tea that had been sitting the car since I showed up, I saw this ridiculously quaint and charming little candle holder with a pile of little rocks alongside it, being draped PERFECTLY by a grapevine. And when I mean, perfectly, it's as if it was staged. For some reason, my imagination took me to the Mediterranean coast, perhaps Spain, maybe Italy, I don't know, but my wanderlust got the best of me and I started snapping a few shots of it as if I was actually on that coast. So when I got home and started processing, I began doing what I normally do…Lightroom…Develop pane…etc…and I just wasn't feeling it. None of it. To top it all off, my favorite shot as far as composition wasn't exactly exposed too well. But I figured, let's see what we can do with it anyway…let's hit the 'reset' button.
First step..grab a glass of scotch and a chunk of smoked gruyere cheese (hot damn, if you haven't had smoked gruyere cheese…you haven't had cheese!).
Second step…lean back a bit and let's look at this from a different set of eyes.
Third step…NO! Not a different set of eyes…let's look at it exactly with the eyes that I was looking at it with when I snapped the shot…my imagination.
Fourth step…refill scotch.
Fifth step…get crazy.
And what you see up above here is what came of the madness.
Yeah, it has a lot of filters, yeah, it's super processed, and yeah, I added a flame! But I had to remind myself that it's okay!
So my favorite composition of the thing was one of the poorer exposed shots. So I felt the need to do something to 'cover up' what otherwise would have been a throwaway. But that's only one way of looking at it...
The other way is that, if I processed it the way I normally do with my normal workflow, then perhaps it wouldn't have worked, and if it did, I would have had a decent image, but not the image that was in my mind as I was taking that picture. It took me having to find a way to 'cover up' a poorly exposed photograph to tap into the creative side of me and find a way to get closer to that visual I was envisioning as I was shooting it.
I guess my lesson here is to not be afraid and not really give a mouse fart about what anyone might think or what any purist might criticize. I get so wrapped up in what's 'right' and what's 'proper,' I often forget that, well, there's really no such thing in art.
I suppose certain things do happen for certain reasons. This time something happened to remind me not to take things too seriously and to do what got me so passionate about photography to begin with…have fun.
And c'mon...you have to admit, that final version of the image above is kinda Mediterraneany...