I was recently talking to a friend about taking pictures. I explained that I take most of my HNTs by myself with a remote, so when I have someone taking them for me, I struggle as I go through the shots. Struggle is too nice of a word.
I get pissy as someone else takes the shots.
Why? Because not all shots are captured perfectly. You have to give yourself some room sometimes – some room to adjust it – to crop it – to zoom in. I have learned that through trial and error. Having someone take the shots who has not – can be, well, trying.
My photos, in the end, look very different than what they start out as. The joys of Lightroom and post production work. But, I have also learned, especially with HNT photos, that taking them in a certain way can give you more options – more to work with.
So, let me pull back the curtain for a second and reveal how things really look from the start.
Take this shot:
Hard to believe that it looked like this shot beforehand:
Notice the remote in my hand?
The bad lighting?
The bad framing of me in the shot?
So I crop it
I liked how my back looked. The muscles in my hips and legs. I liked, generally, my body angle. So I cropped out the rest until I liked how it looked.
Then, I hit Auto Tone to fix the color and tone. But, it wasn’t enough, so I increased the fill light to 33 to fix the lighting a bit more.
Then, I apply one of my favorite presets: BW Dependable. I would link to where I downloaded the preset, but, to be honest, I cannot find where I downloaded it anymore.
Then I export it to Smug Mug.
So, let me explain why I use Smug Mug.
In short, I have always felt like my photos looked like crap on most other sites. The color was off. What I saw in Lightroom or Gimp or Elements was not what I saw on the webpage. Until I started using Smug Mug. Rarely do I feel the colors are off now. They look on the web page what they look like on my computer.
While others have great success with Flickr, I never liked it as much. Plus, recently, I have been hearing about professionals losing their PAID Flickr accounts. No good for me.
I often explain to people that while I like my photographs, many times it is what I see in them later that makes them great. The curve of something – or a different angle.
Yes, the camera settings could have been better.
Yes, the zoom could have been different.
But, there is an art to seeing something inside of the picture. To feel free to play with angles – to play with framing – to play with color.
It’s no different than an artist who has done a study of a still life – playing with mediums, angles, and lighting. Same difference really.
Anyway, this wasn’t meant to be a tutorial.
I’m far from an expert.
This is simply to show how someone can take a photo that some would toss.
And turn it into a photo that people liked.
Kind of funny to think I could have deleted it, isn’t it?