Feb 8, 2008

what the hell am i doing?

I was down with the flu last week - so I needed something other than sleep to pass the time. I decided to sign up for a one month online membership at Kelby Training. If you haven't been there in a while - they have a large offering of different photo-related and program-specific classes. And they have plans to continue adding many new courses.

Anyway, while watching Dan Margulis' seminar on LAB Color Frontier - my head started spinning. It was a double whammy of flu + color theory combined. Dan knows his stuff - but it's a lot to digest. It reminded me of when I got back into photography in 2005. I could compose a nice photo with my Nikon D70 - but I remember being clueless about the post-processing world. I didn't know anything about adjustment layers, color profiles, actions, presets, sharpening- and absolutely nothing about LAB color. But I muddled my way through trying to improve the not-so-terrific-looking images coming out of the D70. Jump forward three years. Now I not only know about all the aforementioned processing mysteries - I actually use all of them. But I still continue to be confused and feel like a post-processing dummy almost daily. Maybe that's the nature of everything, I don't know.

The real question is have my images improved over the last three years? I would say definitively - yes and no. Before I supposedly "knew what I was doing," I shot more images, muddled more, and failed much, much more. But I still made some exceptional photos. Now I have a better idea of what will work, what won't require hours of PS to "fix," and what truly makes a good photograph. Still it's always a challenge (and joy) every time I pick up my camera. And, I will always believe that sometimes it's just dumb luck that makes great photographs.

Here are several photos from my "what the hell am I doing?" era. Not very much Photoshop magic in any of them, but they still have a certain amount of charm for me. The "icy window" at the top of this post is my fave. An ice storm had blanketed my Jeep one afternoon. After starting the Jeep, I realized I didn't have a scraper. So, I had to wait patiently while the defroster melted away the ice. And, of course, shoot some icy photos.


Sir James E. Watkins said...

I love this sky shot. The elements a perfectly perceived to transition from gray to black to green, then green to black to gray.

Bruce L. Snell said...

It looks to me you know what the hell you are doing.

Mike and I have discussed often how we both go through long spells with no photoshop technique improvements and then, bang, a big learning spurt.

I'm not sure I'll ever feel like I know that software/process 100%. It's fun figuring it out though.


Doug said...

Thanks for dropping by guys.

Sir James: Those funky clouds have always been a fave of mine. The shadow in the foreground is from my lens hood - fun mistake.