Late Addition To This Entry Which I Actually Wrote This Weekend: I have been in Knoxville for a few days as my Mom has been put in the hospital with what we now know is a gallstone which will be removed today. Possibly along with her gallbladder. Keep her in your thoughts.
I have always loved to take pictures. I have always adored photography. I just wasn’t able to merge those two into a hobby until 2006 when I could finally afford to buy my first real camera. Since my first outing with that camera (slideshow here) I have been growing as a photographer. I still have such a long way to go, but as I learn, I realize how dependent I am on other people sharing what they’ve learned, their process, their opinions. It occurred to me this weekend that maybe I’ve reached a point where documenting my process could help out other people. So…here I am! Documenting my oh-so-thrilling process.
First…is the outing. NikkiZ has been begging me to let her dress as a princess and walk around town. I thought I’d make a game out of it for pictures and we took her downtown last night to find her castle. She picked out her own wardrobe and accessories (hence the two purses) and I gave her guidance as we explored downtown Huntsville and played pretend while looking for her castle. When I came home, I transferred all pictures using the organization method I’ve been using for years. I keep a directory with the year/month (2009_08). And inside that directory, I have two other folders: SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) and edit. I copy EVERY photo I take into the SOOC folder. I only delete photos that are simply bad or redundant. I then open my favorites and…even if they need no editing…I save them into the “edit” directory. And if they required no editing, I try to add an “sooc” to the file name.
I upload everything in the “edit” directory to my flickr page. It gives me a backup of my favorite photos and an easy way to search as I try to be very diligent about tagging.
Now…most photos? I edit. By keeping the originals in the SOOC directory, I can always go back to the original and do other/different editing somewhere down the road. I do this often for birthdays or Christmas. I’ll revisit photos for gift ideas.
I edit almost every photo I print and/or upload to flickr. Most of the time I at least crop photos. In terms of other editing I rely heavily on PW Actions because they are great for beginners. Just a click away. I’ve started exploring more advanced actions (like MCP Actions) but I still do almost everything with PW’s.
With my kids the shotgun method of photography is the best. I just take as many pictures as I can. When I sit down at the computer, I clear my mind and just look at each of them individually. In my pictures, the post-processing is just as fun to me as the photography itself. I don’t always know if I’ve caught a good expression until I get home. Many times…the expression is so good that I change the entire composition of the photo just to draw the attention to the expression.
Since kids move so much…I often just need a basic crop around them in the frame. But to me? Even just a crop makes a huge difference.
I often look at my photos and try to make them Print Worthy. What can I do to this photo to make it worth the cost of a print to be hung on the wall? Sometimes I open a picture on the computer and immediately I feel a certain story to the photo that a little editing can tell. Turning a nice photo, but probably not Print Worthy, into an interesting photo with a story to tell that would look great on any wall. This always works with non-face photos. My kids often don’t look at the camera, but sometimes even the back of the head can tell a story.
And then…sometimes? I just play. I just see a photo and start clicking until something speaks to me. Many times I start over (another of PW’s Actions!) and try a different route. But often? I end up with photos I adore and send immediately to be printed.
If you want to look at all of the photos from our outting this weekend, you can see the slideshow here. This was a great outing and NikkiZ wants to do it again with friends next time.
Of course, she also wants me to dress as a princess next time.
That’s NOT going to happen. In case you were wondering.