Post Production Part Two


Vision-Driven Photography


Lesson Info

Post Production Part Two

We're talking about vision expressed in the post processing process I gotta find a new word for that in the development process um we have just walked through one of my photographs in the using the vision driven workflow process and that is tio identify your intention to minimize distraction maximize mood and then to draw or pull or push the eye accordingly so this is one of the images from the book I'm not going to work through it gonna work through different image in a minute but this just gives you another another idea of where I start with and again this is the image that comes out of light room after I've applied that zeroed preset it it really truly does not look this crappy I haven't so completely under exposed it that is beyond all recognition it just that's the way it looks like when you hit zeroed on any of your even well exposed image it's going to look really low contrast in crappy on dh the reason I start with the zeroed preset again it's just to remove all bias to start w...

ith the cleanest possible canvas you don't have tio some people will get discouraged by that what I generally do there was a question that came in and said do you begin with all of your stuff that way and I don't what happens is it comes in on import I don't apply this zero preset on import because then all of my image is gonna look really crappy and would be very hard for me to pick which ones I kind of want so what I do is I do the select I believe that was one of the questions I do this select after it comes in tow light room with all those defaults in place and I look through and I pick my images accordingly in all five star there which is the way I do it someone wrote a comment yesterday and said don't tell everyone a five star them because then there's no way for you know for growth or you know you should read the damn book the digital asset management book and and I wanted to write back and gold I do it my way you do it your way and you know the fact is everyone's got an opinion on what the best way to do it is this not about the best way this simply about my way which works for me so it's a good way maybe it's not the best way doesn't matter I five starred them because for me and image either works or it doesn't and yes I will change that all doing at it later and realize that actually I was way off base but that's just the way I do it I go through and I go five star five star five star some people use the pick or the you know I just that's the way I do it some people color code I just go five star and that's it's either five star it's not and then I'll go back and do another added later six months or whatever so that's how I do it and then I will apply that zero preset to the image that I want to work on was her question was yes and so just you don't apply any kind of pre sets when you're importing on import I don't there's there's that ability to apply a piece out like I could put a black and white or no I just I imported with all adjust the defaults and and then and you know, I frankly there are presets that I apply to most of my work uh not all of it that I probably save a lot of work just by applying it an import, but again I prefer a blank a canvas that's a little less because when I'm going through it I could look at it going I mean, if that if you apply that pre set and it's totally inappropriate, I could actually not select that eminent just purely based on a crappy application of ah good preset it's not appropriate snot probably so generally I don't do that um it actually may be a good idea to apply a decent black and white conversion on him in on import so that everything I look at is unaffected by the influence of color, which is very one of the guys I was talking to yesterday we're having this conversation they used the word seductive colors very seductive and it can pull you away from the fact that you know it's important to have attention, tow lines and contrast all these other issues color is just so powerful that you know, a great great color in a otherwise bad image can actually seduce you into thinking it's a good image so sometimes putting black and your image in the black and white will give you a little more objectivity. The problem with that, of course, is sometimes we photographed because of color and so if you're black and white all you know I hate that for it. Well, you of course you hate it, you photograph because it was blue if I took those blue pictures and put them all in black and white, there wasn't a lot of total contrast black and white images air good, often because of good total cunt. There wasn't a lot there if I had a black and white of them, although it would have looked at him yeah, I like the shapes and stuff but contrast, scrapping there's nothing I could do to salvage it looks crap yet and been a mall when the point of the image was blue right so again the right tool for the right job so this is what where I've got I started with this zeroed preset this is one of the ones available in the books so you can work on this file yourself one of things I would encourage you to do if you get the book and downloaded thie images is um figure out you know assume pretend you were the photographer and say what is my image for this how would I treat this? Would you treat it in black and white? Would you treat a color where would you draw the attention to don't be afraid to play and experiment and you know do all kinds of horrible things to the images that I worked so hard to create because again the best learning tool is playin experimentation and asking what if what if I made this black and white? What if I did this for that what I wanted out of this image was this blacksmith he was sitting there and there was a blacksmith furnace here and he was pounding away he stopped for chai and posed for me and I wanted attention too there were a few things there was a mood which was that warmth I really wanted to maintain that warmth in the image I really wanted to maintain the feel of grit and dirt this was ah warm gritty situation so I wanted to maintain that warmth and that grit so immediately when I say that I write down I want this image warm and gritty I want to draw attention to texture, warmth, grit I wanted obviously to a draw attention to his posture I want this is about him, not really about his workshop all of those things is I write them down will influence what tools I use, what aesthetic changes I made to the image if I say I want this to be gritty, the first thing I should think about his contrast and texture and I think that's a texture I'm gonna immediately think the clarity slider at some point I would probably use that if I say I want this to be warm, even hot feeling I'm going to think in terms of the color spectrum, I'm gonna think warm colors I'm not going think of kools I'm certainly not going to put this into a blue sayin a type, you know? So that is all and he looks like a smurf I'm going to make this warm and it's going to not only tell me some of the things I'm going to do it's also going to suggest very strongly things I'm not going to do so by looking at this I immediately know that I want to draw attention to his eyes his eyes were very piercing the this is the center point of the image. He's got this great body posture so I might actually do some dodging and burning to draw attention not only to his to his eyes, but a little bit less attention, but to this triangle here and to the creases in his clothes. I love his feet drawing attention to his feet. He's not wearing shoes. He's, working in this in this workshop is his hands, and your feet are equally dirty. He's. Probably using his feet too, you know, to hold something toe leverage it. And, uh, and there was just something about this guy. So I wanted to kind of pull the attention in. So I'm probably going to use the vignette, too, at some point just to pull the attention in a little bit. And again, if you want to follow exact along exactly how I did this, you can go to the book. There are things I want to show you, like just one little thing that makes a difference. And this is the small stuff that matters. For example, uh, you've got this, um, the brush tool. And in this image, I use the brush tool, one of things that I noticed immediately as I was writing things down. Was and this is the actually the final j peg that you're looking at, so I can't go back and undo some of the other changes I've made, but what I've done just now is dark in this elbow a bit, because when I initially this is almost final j peg created this, one of things I notice as a problem spot in terms of minimizing distractions was this hot spot on the elbow, so I'll turn that on and off again, I'll get to it, there we go. So right now my eye is drawn quite strongly to this forearm to the dark assorted to the light on the elbow, it's it's because it's closer to outside the light's, falling off very quickly and so it's hitting that elbow and creating a hot spot in my eye now, especially now that I've pointed out, I guarantee your eye is going to that that elbow a lot likes like you go to the eyes boom to the elbow and the elbow is not a part of the story in on my identify your intention for the photograph at no point did I write make sure people look at the elbow, you know elbow is very important in this picture it is in fact now that I'm aware of it, I'm gonna put down elbow is extremely unimportant, in fact is a distraction minimize elbow if I were writing these down usually it actually occurs these days here and so just simply by taking the brush and you can see it if I'll turn this back on and then um hang on here we go I really do know how to use this program so by pressing oh it reveals the mask that I've painted on there and this is theater just mint that I've used minus sixty one on the exposure minus twenty six on the brightness brightness just pulls the mid tones in a little bit exposure, pulls the brighter spots down and minimizes the the, uh the hot spot by mixing it up a bit you're pulling it back not just the bright spots but it's just a little more unnatural blending to pull it back. And the nice thing is once you plant painted the mask in, have you done a decent job with painting the mask and then you can kind of go back and you can actually just tweak it so I'll turn the mask off and I'll hide the pin and now I can actually it's still selected now I can kind of dark in it and play with play with the mix and you know it's too much when it starts to look like he's a burn victim so you just you pull it back and again if people are if people are distracted by your technique then you know, again, then I'd be your technique becomes one of the distractions, and one of the rules is minimize your distractions. So no point should anyone be looked like, for example, if you if you do a little dodgy in burn on his eyes, increase little contrast to pop a zit lies, sometimes I will see the wedding photographers who've brought a little too much attention to the eyes and they glow and they looked like they were on star gate or something. And, you know, they've got these alien eyes. If people are distracted by the eyes, that's probably not a good thing, you want them to look at the eyes, but you don't want them to be going what's going on with those ojai's, right? I mean, it's, the wrong kind of looking at the eyes and when I was still a performer and I would do to some magic and my show, one of things they said is even if you don't, even if people don't know how you did something, you know, you do a sort of see sneeze secret move over here. They may not know how you did it, but the fact that they think you did something is as distracting and ruins thie illusion as much as if they know what you have done and it's the same thing with postproduction they don't need to know what you have done just the fact that they suspect you have done something and not even photographer is necessarily cause photographers get very nit picky but if the lame and if the person person watching this photograph looking at it go smash something really weird about those eyes right again that becomes a distraction so the name of the game here is being realistic and subtle but this is all illusion this is all it's a two dimensional representation of a three d so very often we are creating illusion we're creating the illusion of depth we're creating the illusion that you know that the shadows aren't quite the way they really were in real life and the illusion that his eyes were a little brighter it doesn't have to be realistic it has to look realistic it has thea the illusion and so sometimes you don't want to push things quite so far because you ruined that even if a photographer look out and I actually that's okay if someone else is looking and go what's that weirdness going on with this his arm you've pushed it too far so let that be kind of your guiding principle so in this case I'm goingto leave the brightness where it is and pull the the exposure down a little bit I could go back and do another brush and just kind of clean that up but again I don't want to make it to two funky looking and so and that really wasn't the point of this whole thing so um and and I've used in the original image I have turned I've done a number of things with the brush I painted in some ah little bit of exposure into his feet just to bring your attention to them why? Because the ice is brighter things before it's these darker things so if you make it a little brighter here I will come to it if you for example, dark and some of the folds on the clothes just a little bit or lighten the outer part of the fold you will draw the eye to it because you've added contrast to that area darkened the darks you've lightened the lights the eye now goes to the fools you've created a delusion of greater depth in that shadow and the eye goes to that fault and that's what textures all about textures about contrast so even in big textures like folds of cloth give a little bit more paint a little darkness into the creases a little lightness into the into sort of the mounds and you've created the illusion of depth and it's pulled it out and created just on more engaging photograph to which the eye is drawn if you're wanting to not draw attention to it, obviously you do the reverse of that the face I would paint probably a little bit of clarity around here around his goatee, uh, possibly give it a little more bright exposure to pop the whites just to make it, you know, to draw it out his eyes, I would give a little bit if you you'll see the tutorial in the book, I've kind of painted masks around his eyes, just a pop it a little bit him again. I'm trying to be realistic. I'm not trying to draw it out so much that you notice that I have made changes. This is a it's just part of the digital dark room experience, and we used to do this all the time in the black and white dark room and the color dark room, the wet, dark room, because it comes out of the camera with certain deficiencies, and this is art it's, not some kind of, you know, canonical process, so don't be afraid to play, just please help us is viewers and make it realistic, or at least, you know, not distracting. All right? So we're going to do another image, and I'm gonna walk through the whole thing again, this one's also in the book, but I'm going to approach it just from a purely I'm not going to try to replicate the book, I'm just gonna kind of do my own thing on it. Any questions about this? Alright, this, but before I answer that, there was one question that was asked earlier on twitter and it related to portrait. Uh, do I use color balance on portrait's and do I? Uh, is that not than an issue of accuracy? Because I was earlier saying I don't use white balance for accuracy, I use it for mood and yes, portrait's are sort of about accuracy in terms of skin tone, but even then, under what light are we talking about accuracy? I mean tech quickly under these lights, my skin looks one way under that light my skin looks another way, and so even on portrait snow again, I'm not a wedding photographer. I don't really do portraiture as a classic, so no, even then I would use my white balance, mohr according to what I feel like I would be trying to get close to good skin tone obviously don't want it to look like I'm shooting you under this lamp because it's going to be warm is going to look gross and you're gonna look john nest, but I also don't want it to be accurate I wanted to look beautiful. You know or maybe not maybe I'm photographing someone who looks you know rugged and I'm not going for beauty I'm looking for rugged and in which case I make cool it down warm it up I mean if it's a rugged cowboy under a hot sun right? I mean so again even shooting portraiture I don't believe accuracy is the highest concern you want it to look realistic and so I think that's where accuracy is kind of do too are very close but for me it's not the kind of work I do so I don't generally foot's about accuracy and neutrality I just but occasionally I'll do you know if if I am in a studio I'll do a custom white card talents to get my white balance I just put the grey car up to custom white balance and and then I know that I'm I've got a good starting point but again I'm quite happy to warm it up a little cool it down a little totally to taste and I think you're um the description of what you just how you went through the face I think that answered a lot of people's questions around how you would treat skin tones um using the tools in my room like what sort would you apply so that again this thing's this all has to do I mean if you was a portrait photographer can identify your intention for the photograph and accuracy of skin tone is part of that intention then you used the right tool which is, you know, going figure out you're correct white balance according to you know whatever your standard correctness is, you know, find a neutral point and but to me that's never ever part of my vision I don't mind having something is a little warmer a little cooler because everything I do is primarily out on the street I mean, this is not accurate white balance but it's accurate in terms of is it does it align with my vision and my experience of this place and my interaction with this man? Yes, it does. So for me that's accuracy for me, it's not about well, if he had a great card with the great car to be rendered completely neutral in this picnic it's not an issue for me because not part of my vision where someone else who's part of whose vision is accuracy right tool for the right job. Okay, so the question I had this was a question that came up and chat but it's also kind of perfect question um, you talked about the masks and how you know, you know, when you've gone too far but as the image overall in post how do you know when you've gone too far and you think that that's an instinctual thing when you look at an image and you know you've done too much, I think sometimes I think and that's where again the artist especially photography where the issue of object activity can be you know, I don't think painters deal with this I don't think painters go well objectively speaking, you know I mean I don't think monet ever went well did it look like that? You know I mean, if you take my glasses off all of morning stuff actually looks quite like the real world to me but um so we rest a little bit with objectivity it's one of our challenges and one of our constraints and so I often will ask friends say, you know if I push this a little too far because again it's it's like you know the analogy we talked about putting a frog in boiling water to throw the frog in boiling water it jumps out but if you if you it's a kind of a sick metaphor now that I think about it unless you're cooking frogs, in which case you're okay but you put the frog in cold water and slowly heat the water upto boiling the frog won't jump out because it constantly gets used to the increased temperature I think it's the same for us we push the contrast a little bit we push the saturation a little bit and we like it and then the next image well it's that law of diminishing returns now it doesn't make us quite so happy anymore now we push the contrast a little further in the saturation a little further and three months from now everyone looks like a circus clown in our photograph because we keep pushing and keep pushing and I think we need voices of sanity in our life to kind of go is it a little too far so you know showing your work and being open to some objective criticism like that someone just going yeah you might want to dial it back a little you know because again make your blacks black in your whites white well how black and how white and at a certain point while blacks not black enough for me so we pushed the black and then we push it even further and then the whites and soon you know, it's just and that may be an issue of style you maybe finding your voice and that's okay too some people will look at my stuff that's too too much saturation won't know it's too much saturation for you for me ultimately who are you to say it's too much saturation listed the client which case? You know I defer to your wishes next time go find another photographer you know I'm saying mmm that sounded really snooty didn't okay let's sum I wanted to drink this let's look at another photograph has another example of this um well kind of walk through the process that I use for um where is it you're somewhere here bear with me it is uh most of my work I do on my my large machine at home with a tablet and I'm used to this kind of work flow um okay so let's uh let's look at this image this was an image that I shot in um uh in fact yesterday I showed you images of a woman with two men kind of looking at her through spring this is for graft in the same place in you know in in delhi and nizamuddin and um nizamuddin is a very intense place there's a lot going on and I tell you this because it forms part of my intention for the photograph and um anyway it's an intense place it's ah it's ah sufi shrine on dh a lot of people come there particularly women it seems and they petition I believe now there's a couple saints kind of buried there but primarily this is is trying to one particular um one particular man and so they come and they petition and this woman to the best of my understanding about the situation is wearing the shackles on her wrist and padlocks and those represent oaths that she has taken on and she's basically saying, you know, if you answer my petition if you answer my prayer I will you know, do the following things that will be this kind of person. I don't mean to presume on what she's promised, but there's some kind of symbols of a promise, their symbolic. And but to me, this was this was a very powerful image. There was something about her gesture. There was something about the desperation of it. I loved the contrast between, you know, the chains and the human flesh and the soft folds of the garment that was just a lot going on in it for me. So when I looked at this photograph, I knew for me now there's some beautiful tones in this there's, this the earth tones and here are beautiful. The tones here in her skin are very similar, and hugh and warmth to the tones in her garment as well as in the marble. And so I could actually have chosen to render this in color. I could have chosen to render it on earth tones and make it really, really pulled my eye to these tone, and someday I may decide to do that. But for now, when I photographed this, I knew I wanted to be black and white. It was just one of those images. Um, later on, I actually decided to bring back some of those tones in a duo tone, so, um but just being conscious, as I said before, you can be conscious of your vision and there could be three or four expressions of that vision on. And then you have to kind of sit on them. Go ok, which one? Which one is which now? There's? Not a lot that needs to go on in this image in terms of minimizing distractions. The on ly thing that kind of bothered me and it's because again, I'm a little anal about lines and stuff. Was this lying here in the bottom this dark anchoring stretch of of marble? I just it's awful little and things like that kind of drive me nuts. It's when I was in college, I gave a friend a print and I'm at it it just slightly off. And so when you have a print that's mattie, just slightly off but it's framed, you know, so the the mat was off but the frame and the picture inside were right. So when you put it on the wall and it's level according the frame and the wall are level um the mat is slightly off and when you put it so mats level the frame is slightly off and he spent an entire year coming in. Kind of adjusting, and then it would be kind of straight to his eye because he was looking at the frame, then you come back in and drove him crazy, which I thought was really funny except halfway through the year began to try me crazy, too. So, um, all of that to say the first distraction ran really the only distraction that I'm going to eliminate here initially is is the line. Now I'll tell you another distraction that kind of bothers me, and I'll get rid of that, too. But it's not the first one I think of, so I'm just going to crop and by rotating the corner here, I can just straighten it out like that, or there is a great tool in the crop of relate, and if you just take this angle tool, click on the ruler and drag it click and drag across. You're basically saying, make this line straight relative to the frame and it automatically will align it, so you're not even eyeballing it, and now I've made my now it made that line straight, and that makes me feel much better. The other distraction is this, and this may be stuff that doesn't distract anyone else, but it distracts me, is this this? Sort of highlighted bit there where the thie shadow that she's in ends in the sunlight begins and so to kind of balance that off I'm going to draw grady in't across the image just like so and I'm a have to kind of tweak that um but by drawing that kind of soft radiant it gives me an opportunity just to kind of reduced things a little bit and this this won't be perfect the brush tool actually would be a good job I'm not trying to eliminate it I'm just trying to kind of reduce it a little bit and I don't want to go so far that people going to go what's going on over there I just want to reduce the pull of it so that the the balance of the image now there's more pull on the woman than on this warmer um, white corner. So anyway again I'm not gonna fuss too much with it it's not the best job um of pulling that grady in't you know what actually that's um shawn mccormick uh, rode into twitter and said the best way to solve this problem with the weirdness is just to restart light room but I'm not gonna bother nevertheless, thank you shawn mccormick for doing that for me um shawn writes thea very good light room blawg anyway s o that has immediately kind of pulled uh reduce some of the pull on that corner for me and then I'll press age and get rid of that button hide the button now I'm ready to start I've minimized the distractions now I'm ready to start with maximizing the mood which begins with the basic stuff if I look at my history ram I've got well one of us oh one hundred I've got lots of flexibility in the file I've also cut I've probably under exposed it's still by about a stop and uh and I would love to pull that over so some of the first move something to do will involve the exposure and uh and the blacks you can do it down here or you can actually just grab up here and just pull your history am over like this, which I think is pretty cool um and I'm not going to make my whites absolutely white because those whites are the areas of highlight and I don't particularly want them to be really punchy. Um I just want to do it to taste so you just pull it over until looks good, nice and luminous and I gotta put the black sand and often I'll do a couple adjustments like I'll actually pull the one and then realise I've gone too far like that and and then that shifts the history and a little makes it look different so it's a little bit of give and take right you make the darks dark and your eyes I need a little more exposure now so you bring that in all right um there's a little things a little tear in her fabric again I'm a fine art photographer on issues like this I'm actually choose to clone that out or or something I may not but once your eye fixates on one of these things can drive you crazy so I'm not gonna do anything with it now I may also taken adjustment brush at some point kind of paint out this little line or I could choose teo you know just a crop it a little bit and get rid of it all of these air really needy nitpicky kind of things but again if it bothers you change it you're that you're the author of this story you're the photographer if it's a little nit picky thing don't be apologetic for being anal about these things but just make the change that you need to make so um and that still didn't do it okay, so let's assume that that's the crop that I want we've made the blacks black we made the whites white now I'm going to kind of work my way down for now I'm not going to do anything with the white house because I know I want to turn this into a black and white image you may change your white balance later, but I would rather do that after the black and white conversion because it's going to change the look of the image and I want to have a little more information to go with rather than just my suspicions about this contrast are not going to do anything with it here, clarity and love the texture in this image, I'm going to push the clarity and at least see what it looks like I can just cause you push the clarity doesn't mean you can't pull it back, so don't be afraid to take a look at what it looks like. All right, so, um and again bring it, bring it to zero I rarely just push it to one hundred and just leave it. I like to push it back and forth and go, did I push it too far? Didn't I? Now that looks terrible. I'm not going to use negative clarity, but what I think and remember your clarity is not this is not the only way to increase clarity. You can use your brush, so if what you want is clarity in one area but not clarity on the whole picture, then this is not the tool for you use the best tool for the job in this case, I'm probably going to just leave it here. But later on, maybe go up to the to the adjustment brush and paint in clarity in some of these areas where I want greater texture still, but I, if I push the clarity slider way over, I'm also going to get lots of texture in the marble, and I don't want the eye going to the marble, the marbles, not part of the image. So why would I, you know? And that's again was sharpening. I rarely just sharpen the whole image because your eye goes to things that are sharp before go to things that are not sharp, so I would rather sharpened selectively. And and if this is not an important part of the picture, why, why sharpen it so that's one of those areas were often I will go in a photo shop just for output, and I will selectively sharpened one area or another it's getting better and photoshopped into a lot of your sharpening. Now in photoshopped saurian light room, I'm just creature of habit. So, um, I'm going through here, I want more contrast, but I'm not gonna use the contrast lighter play with the brightness a little bit, see what it looks like, but because I know I'm going into the black and white area to play with black and white. I'm going to go there as quickly as I can because that'll sort of apply that black and white like a layover a filter so that I can do the work under the hood and make the changes and I know what I'm getting all right if you make all the changes then you go to black and white might have to undo some of those changes just doesn't seem to make sense to me um so I'm gonna leave the contrast for now and I'm gonna go to black and white into the the bmw finally they started calling it black and white stone gray scale so I'm gonna go black and white it will give me, uh just a regular black and white conversion you could go at this point now and find out the new version of light rooms got some credible um presets which it didn't have before and you could actually as you scroll down it'll show you in this preview window here is you scroll down it'll it'll actually give you kind of previews of all the different conversions low contrast and some tone stuff and different filters and it could give you I rarely use them, but what I do is I look at it go oh, I like what that does on this part of the image I like what this does here and it just gives me some ideas I'm sort of processing or it gives me a starting point. Maybe I kind of like it, and I'll start with, you know, one particular filter the red filter because I like this particular, and then I'll start making tweaks. I don't like that, so I won't use it, but that can be could be a good starting point. Um, and again, using some, like next silver effects pro may be a good spot once you got to a good working negative ship it out to the black and white working that plug in. Uh, but I'm gonna play here and I'll show you what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna use this targeted adjustment tool. Click on that little bull's eye and as I move it over the screen, you can see this little little bull's eye here as I pick a tone. Do you notice how here watch watches? I move the cursor around. It goes to different values is basically telling you, if I adjust this here in this area, I will be making changes to the blue channel because this is still a color image and that's that's. One of the reasons you want to do your work in light room like this, you want to just go and make it a color image in photo shop. And then use dodging and burning and all kinds of curves and what some people might I prefer this this is still a color image with a black and white filter on top so as you change the color channels underneath all of these changes occur here and so watch what happens when I when I change the value in inner skin tone okay really darkens it or it lightens it up now it doesn't only change her skin tone obviously some of that tone is some of the color is over here and it's going to change things in other areas of the image all right but if what you want is more contrast you really want to draw the eye to those hands then you might want to darken them up why? Because those hands on a light surface I know the eyes usually drawn toe light things before dark but if that hands on a light surface and you lighten them, you reduce the contrast and remember the eyes also drawn to areas of higher contrast before lower contrast so you might want to darken how much well again you don't want to make them look clownish this is still a woman in india you still have to represent reality to some degree because it has to be believable as long as people know she's in india if you're okay making it look like she's from west africa you know that's that's your thing uh, and then again, there's probably my suspicion is if I mouse over these thes chains there's probably information in there that's, that's different like in the blues or where we go so there's some blues and if I change and that it might make those chains papa little which in fact it does and pops them up over here. So watch again. Watch those those change they pop just a little bit it will be hard for you to see him at home. The other thing it does is it increases again the contrast between those dark, dark triangle of hands and the, uh the tones around her hands. So I'll try toe set still stuck there. Yeah, right. You see how those tones change in relation to each other? So again, you're just playing this is this's you move it around to taste and you see what you like. You see, you know, if it's if it's what you like so I'm not going to a lot of black and white conversion. This takes a little financing. And like I said, I these days more often than not you silver effects pro to get my black and white conversions done because they're just really they do a very good job of it I'm going to do two more things here I'm going to now go to the idea of visual mass and pulling and pushing the eye when I sat down with this image and identified my intention I knew that I wanted the area the eyes to go to a couple things I love the texture in her hands she's obviously had I mean she's had a hard life she works with her hands she doesn't go to the spa every saturday and get her nails done she's she's living a very particular kind of life and she uses her hands probably washes family's clothes cook she does all the manual labor she's got rough hands I want to show that I really want to draw the eye to the to the chain so I'm going to pop those and I know that I want to enhance the curse because I love the contrast between the sharp kind of um man made you know, hard chains and the very organic kind of flow of the cloak and I want to draw that out a little bit. The other thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna actually punch this this here because this is kind of an anchor to the image so now I start in with the concept of pulling and pushing the eyes and uh someone's gonna have to wake up carrie carrie needs cary needs a coffee get a coffee for gary so the first thing I'm going to do just to get it out of the way is I'm just going to draw a greedy int over the over this black marble here because I like how it anchors the image that's why I included in the photograph because it um sorry it's just on something funky on me again uh because it did I just know I did okay it's uh it's doing weird things for me because I like this anchor in the image I included is a graphic element I could've kind of crop the doubt or done my best to reorganize myself and put it differently but I love that strong kind of graphic elements so I'm just gonna hold the shift key down it'll constrained to be straight which works well because we already made this bar straight with the levelling and then I'm just gonna kind of dark in it up just a little bit like this full of brightness down just a little bit like this and uh could okay, so now what I want to do is I want to use the brush and I'm gonna ask you what you would do to this image with the brush given the vision that I've just told you my intent for the photograph what would you do that the brush to push and pull the the guy from the shadows uh sleep thank you sleep, huh? Crowd cloak that she that she had okay, what else would you do dark in the left upper corner because it's a little bit later the story the dark dark and wet just add a little bit of darkness to the left corner of your life okay? You mentioned you wanted to hide the chains so I'd probably brushed us and in increasing well, what would you rush in? Uh I brush him ya and I probably put up the exposure a little bit. Okay, explain a little clarity. Okay, so let's do that now let's create a brush with a little little bit more exposure and again you can you can change this after you fight you've painted in, so sometimes I'll push it a little further than I know I want to just so I can see the changes as I do it. And then you suggested adding a little clarity. Ok, I'm gonna have a little bit of sharpness too. You won't see that unless you're zoomed in tow one on one to one but um so now let's and against doing that weird thing but let's paint this in fact let's uh let's see if we get there we go so we'll paint it in with the with that mask will ignore that weird thing that's going on with the and then we'll paint it in over here again, I would normally do this with a walk um tablet because it allows you to use the pressure sensitivity features, but I didn't bring my walking tablet because, um so let's just do that and there's just wearing a thing over here and we'll do that there now we are going to draw attention to other areas, but we're going to do that probably with other tools like I'm not sure I want to lighten the veins on her hand to make them look real freakish, but well, so we'll do it in other ways now, you see, I've got some really weird some weirdness going on with this with this brush, and so we're going to we're gonna make sure it's highlighted so you can see the pen is highlighted um and we're just going to a race like this now we're just gonna race some of that and again, I'm not doing a very good job. One of the reasons I'm not using the auto mask function, which actually does a really good job for a lot of things is that I find autumn ask anytime their skin related issues auto, auto mask makes it blotchy and crafty it does it does for me a very poor job of working on skin so anything that skin related ijust until caught a mask, other things I quite like autumn asked for so I'm just gonna I'm gonna undo a little bit of that um that masking that I did just to make it look less kind of freakish on her hands like this and again at home I would really take some time on this because on this screen it looks quite small and like yeah it doesn't really matter but the minute you below this up to like you know that twenty five forty canvas that artistic photo canvas is giving us then you notice these things because they're like, you know this big on your wall and then you notice it so pay attention and details don't be don't be sloppy with your work um and let's just go back now ok, so anyway I've made my point and now you've you've mass this and now you can see the effect as you as you move this and like I said I will often push it too far and it does a couple of things one it helps me see what's going on but also now I see that I've actually got a very poor job of masking because I don't want this area of skin mast I want just the chains so later on I will go back and do a better job of masking but for now again you wanted to be realistic you don't want to look like the chains are made of, you know a radium and they're glowing or something so a subtle touch is what you want so I generally I'll punch it a little here and I'll punch up with the brightness because rarely do we ever in nature have light that his hitting chains and making the highlights bright but not in some way also illuminating the shadows and it looks weird if you had just one without the other at least in this circumstance all right so remember you've got to keep the illusion intact or people aren't gonna believe and they're going to start wondering not necessarily even how you did it but just the fact that you did something is going to kind of tweak them um so that's probably again pushing it too far but whatever and so the other thing that we wanted to do was create a new brush so go new brush and we're gonna paint in some of the fools and I'm going to make them a little bit lighter um you could also make them darker or you could do both not not both um you could make the folds darker on the sort of the the highlight part and the darker in the shadows um or you could do both you don't want to make the fools light and our cancels each other out so you're just gonna you're just gonna go along uh the edges of some of these not all of them you're just again drawing the eye to the ones that most accentuate the particular folds and the feeling of this kind of softness in the garment so I love I'm drawn to this here see how these folds beautifully come together here so I would probably terribly hard to look at one unseen and work on the other I would probably increase the folds here all the way up and then here let me turn my mask on see what I'm doing I mean, I'm just applying again a tablet is much better tool for this, but all your gosh all you're doing is applying um some attention you're increasing the visual amass in this one area and bring it in you might choose to highlight this, not increase this here we go alright just like so and maybe increase here here and you're just you're just again your intention is to lead the eye into certain places and only you know where you want the idol lied just like a writer only the writer knows where the characters were going and sometimes even that you don't know initially just gotta play with it so that's thea uh and hide so that's kind of a before and after again I pushed a little too far in part so that it shows up on the screen everyone can see it, but you were drawing the eye to those things, so if you look at on turn the brush off all the brushes off right so that's that's the before without the brush strokes and that's with the brush strokes it's different right? I mean whether it's what you want for your photograph or not whether it's ah good technique for this image or not on lee you can tell but what you can't denies that it changes the way the way you look at the photograph changes where your eyes goes and as a result of changes what the photograph says you're trying to say look at the contrast between the soft folds of the garment and the man nichols on her wrist that's a contrast conceptually that's that's contrast, if you want to show the contrast between those, then you have to pull the eye to them and you have to say, look at this look at this and hey look, they're next to each other I mean you're automatically people will make that connection even if they don't reckon they may not look at and go I really like the contrast between the manic als on her risk was seem a little brighter compared to her skin tone and I like the lines and how they accentuate the feminine form of the cloak and how conceptually no one is going I think that on first glance but you will still have created a mood and emotion and drawn the ice such a way that people will understand that so having said that having done that we're gonna go on to the next thing that can increase the mood uh let me just show you very quickly uh we'll close off the brush remember I talked about white balance changing it I'm just going to show you kind of roughly what white balance will dio and the fact that it will change things and we'll change the relationship I don't want to do that it will change the relationships of tones to each other just simply by moving the white balance and you may by playing again by going what if you may find a balance that you like better than your initial conversion or a slight tweak that just seems a little bit better same thing with tent tent will change uh subtly change things so so don't be afraid to play with it again you may not be thinking I need to change the color temperature in this image why? Because it's a black and white image right now there is no color temperature but making those changes on it changes the aesthetic of the photograph still okay so we're gonna do one more thing and that's uh I'm sorry went to more things you uh taza I had talked about the fact that there was a there was a corner that was a little bright I'm actually gonna do a little bit of lens vignette ing just again to bring in the uh the attention into the middle of the frame and I'll change my wife my mid point a little gonna release a subtle difference um but it it does pull the eye into the into the photograph a little bit more um and where is that? So this is this is before and that's after right and just it's slightly darkens it you don't have to hit people over the head for for for us to unconsciously understand that things get a little darker and so the eye comes in here is pulls you in gets a little more depth to the photograph and then the last thing we're going to is just split tone it because say you did want to maintain some of that feeling of warmth and earth penis and yet you still wanted a black and white photograph you still want to something kind of monotone? Well, you can create adu atone by using the split toning so uh I do two things. First of all, I rack up the saturation uh too far far beyond what I would ever use on both the shadows and the and the highlights and I do that because when I choose a hue it's more helpful to me I can see what I'm doing so I'm gonna pick a highlight that is kind of a little more brownie kind of earthy see that'll be somewhere over over here and I'm going to choose a shadow that's sort of in the same area but may be slightly different might even choose something a little more like that all right? And now I'm going to dial down the saturation of both of them quite dramatically because again I'm not creating a harsh hit him over the head I'm just creating something that's got a little bit of warmth in it in this black and white photograph and then why does it keep you if I've got I've got a most setting or something that does that? What is it? Peritus found it um so don't hit that button so now when I changed the balance um well actually won't do much because I've chosen a highlight a shadow that are very similar one to another but you see what I'm going for here, right? You see that what I'm going for is still a black and white image that has a little bit of temperature to it, a little bit of warmth, a littler thinness and again thiss one even I'm not I'm not even wanting people to say, well, that's a fantastic duo tone I want them to still think it's pretty much a black and white image, so I'll go down as far as I can and that's a pretty you know that's a subtle difference, but if you look at it it just returns a little of the ana can't color is very seductive we pick up on it instinctively and if you put a little warmth into a photograph people may not mean most people especially non photographers will look at this and go beautiful black and white picture a photographer of course we'll look at it go I really like that tone that earthy tones you know split tone or do a tone but a non for tyre for was so good as a beautiful black and white picture, but they'll pick up on the fact uh that it's it's warmer they will just notice it and it will affect their mood. Um if you wanted this to feel a little bit more about the chains and be a little more kind of cold like the marble would be, then you might even want to make it a little bit cool you could try doing it to atone that actually uses warms in the highlights or in the shadow tones and a little bit of coolness in the highlights and play with that fact why not do that right now and then we'll wrap up all right, so if you add let's let's ramp the saturation up if you add something cold like that little colder like that and then you bring this down um it again we'll change the look of the image and then your balance well, now we'll make a little bit more of a difference see that that's cooler and that's warmer and then that kind of balances it alright subtle differences again you're not trying to hit people on the head with this stuff but you trying to create a mood and these are some of the tools esthetically that will help you create that that's all all right, any questions? Oh yeah do you guys wanna ask questions first questions in here? We have a lot of questions. Okay um someone has asked the lightning and editing you're doing right now is really hard to do um in a dark room or with with photography that's not digital do you think that the digital dark room increases vision driven photography here? I think it gives us tools that certainly make it easier for us to finesse our vision in the dark room but make no mistake people have been doing the using these techniques for years they have been dodging and burning they have been vignette ng they have been, you know, adding tones to it they have all of these techniques to some degree or another have been used in the darkroom maybe not the adding that the texture quite the same way but most of this could be done in the dark but yes, it was much harder and if you pulled it off the first time you may not pull it off the second time or it may take you one hundred tries to pull it off the first time it's just this does make it easier so yes, absolutely just in the same way as using one d s mark three makes it much easier to pull off your vision than using ah kodak brownie camera they can both do it to some degree but the reality is a one day s mark three makes them way easier if you're in action photography good luck with that kordic brownie I've seen it just, you know or a pinhole camera you still express a vision you can still do some creative stuff and be an artist with any of these tools but yes, this makes it much easier we didn't have a request if you could if you could do a photo that does require a lot of work so that you could see the before and after, you know, not a good photo to start, but something that really requires a lot of where anyone you not pick up a really crappy really good not going through the process, but just before and after well, I'm having a hard time interpreting that question because what they're asking for is, you know, take a sucky picture, make it not look sucky, I just truly I'm not sure it can be done because like ansel, adams says, you know, there's, nothing worse than a sharp concept, a sharp photograph of a fuzzy concept it's sort of the same thing in the dark room. There's really nothing worse than trying desperately to make a bad photograph look better with postproduction if you've composed it poorly, you can't recompose truly in the darkroom. I mean, once you've set your p o v and your perspective, and you've chosen your object, there's not a lot you could do with a kind of go, I really wish I had, you know, been down lower. Well, you're not, and you can't. This isn't a three d thing that you could impose to school and do three meet three d modeling with so generally I'm a strong proponent of the fact that you do certain working in the camera and and and if it sucks when it comes out of the camera, it's probably gonna suck when it comes out of light room, I mean, in terms of certain things, so respectfully, I think I would decline that request just purely because I don't look at this as a reparative tool. This is about finessing this is not going oh, man, I really screwed up. I what I should have done was been three feet over and I should have actually been shooting the man that's, you know, that's over on this side of the shrine instead of this woman. Well, I'm sorry. This is the capture you got. Next time you make a better photograph, all right? And that's that that's a little bit snooty of me, I realized, but I just I truly believe that way. Use the tools of our craft and we should use them well. And if you've really screwed up in in in the camera, go back and take a better photograph. That's what's really it's true. I mean, it really, truly er and we don't all create a great photograph the first time the solution is not fix it with photoshopped. The solution is go take a better photograph and I have to do that too. I mean, the same logic applies to me. I don't try to fix it. And photo shop I just, you know, berate myself for having created a crafty picture in the first place. And and I, uh you know, I put the coffee on my chill out. I gave myself permission to screw up once in a while and then I try and go and make a better picture next time you know, but don't try to make your sketch image images into a masterpiece if they're just sketch images because photoshopped won't fix that light, rome won't fix it if it's just a sketch it's just a sketch and that's okay, it's, just you got to know when one is one and one is the other right? So I have some questions that I've been saving that go back to some of the things that we were talking about earlier. Um, do you know a question from me? Poon do you edit your photos in j peg or raw? And and if you could talk to some of the audience who might not know why, okay, um, that would be great. And what format do you use when you're importing those? Okay, well, I always import my raw food, I shoot in raw on lian rock. Um, I I import into light room and rye work on them in rockets that's how you do it in light room, and I only created j peg when I'm done and I'm exporting, and then I'm actually creating a j peg according to my need for output, so if I'm doing a large campus print, then I output it according to, you know, full rez full, you know, blown up thing and actually usually allow the people that do my printing out the canvas shop to do the sharpening in any kind of post production based on what that size they're doing for me um or if I'm going to the web will create especially sized j peg and I'll sharpen it according to my needs for the web but the reason I use rahs because it gives you so much more digital data and if we go back to that analogy of the piece of silly putty um a jpeg file is like a little tiny piece of silly putty and has very little elasticity, you know and you pull it to harden it snaps well, if you got a bigger piece of silly putty, it stands to reason you could pull it further and as a result the downside is you have big files and they're slower files. We have so much more elasticity of so much more information and as a result much more room for error on a j peg if you've got a highlight in a photograph and you've blown it, you've only got maybe half to a full stop before it's long gone those details are gone you won't get it back on a raw file even if it looks blown out you may have up to three stops before you know, depending on your file on what you're shooting you may have up to three stops two and half three stops before you've completely lost it so there's a lot more flexibility a lot more room for error and a lot more read room to kind of pull back some of that stuff especially if it's a dynamic range issue if you want to pull a little more light out of those shadows, your sensor couldn't quite pull it off you have a little more flexibility and get a little extra stop or two by using raw as opposed to using j peg and this might just be a clarification question but um some folks and chat want to know if you import to our convert to dmg when you're working in my room I do use tng dmg for those of you not familiar with it d and d stands for digital negative it's uh it was going to say proprietary it's not really proprietor kit's open source it's ah it's an adobe file format which was created ostensibly because it's open source so fifty years from now twenty years after you know cannon's gone bankrupt or or whatever nikon is no longer existing or the two of them merged god forbid and create, you know, putting into this lunacy about nikon versus cannon once those file like the cr two or sierra wnbf, if those file type suddenly the software to process those isn't available because like I said, cannon goes out of business or something they're close source so you won't be able to go back and but now with d and g any geek that understands the cold could actually create a converter or a light room plug in or whatever too to play with the dmg fell so you're building longevity into your dante into your digital archive. The other reason I do it is because it's it's a smaller file size it's still a raw file but a d n g file of the same image be smaller than a c r to file of the same image and so for me trying to cram you know, a month's worth of travel work onto hard drives I just I appreciate the smaller file size and this is not a ah heavy duty machine if I'm working on a smaller file I can't work fast excuse me I could work faster so I prefer dmg most of my colleagues prefer dmg I mean my friends you know they but you picked the best tool for the job and if you have a reason to keep your cr too I know some people that import and then they they save a disc of their original cr twos or any after whatever and then they convert to dmg so and then they have on a disk somewhere I have sides stop burning my files to disc long ago everything's on hard drives and it's all dmg great thank you whether that's the best way or not another advantage to dmg too is it saves your with the dhobi products or processing information within the the dmg fossil it moves around with it yeah if you don't, what you get is a sidecar files and and and so you've got your cr to file and you're, uh what's the m p s thank you yeah so you've got your ex mp file and you know if you take away that little database file then you know god help you because your your information how you process it all your metadata, all your copyright stuff it's gone where is if you do it d n g it's its dna is actually more like a file folder with all that information in one piece so you can't lose stuff quite so easily so um so yes that's what I do but again totally unrelated to vision that these air more logistical things but you know we get hung up on them I have a vision question I'm gonna read it jack I have a vision answer I'm going to read it verbatim. I like the way it's worded have we permanently set the bar for any great photos to have to be post produced on? Do you feel that we can no longer offer pure photography straight out of the camera due to expectations of today's society that's a big question um well I mean I you know I would argue that that uh I mean the digital the darkroom has always been part of photography and some photographers have used it to greater or lesser effect than others but to some degree discounting photojournalism to some degree the dark rooms always been part of we've always manipulated we've always made brought we've always compensated for the weakness in one tool with the strengths of another and they've always to some degree worked in concert with each other and so I would say yes we are creating a culture that expects a great deal out of our digital out of our photographs I think as a result some of our photographs are becoming too perfect and we will probably see a backlash where people are beginning to feel that so much working a photograph is creating contrive photographs that lose a bit of their soul because frankly, the I've gone back to shooting films sometimes with an old hostel glad I bought about a used hostile glad I use crappy old expired film and what I like about it is the imperfections and I get it scanned lo rez crappy scans there's dust on it it's not color balance this scans I get are frankly quite junkie but they're cheap and I love the imperfection not only I'm not quite sure what I'm going to get out of that expired film I'm not I'm not as good with film anymore, so I'm not sure the results just from my own shooting and I'm not sure what the lab is going to turn out in terms of the scan and all of those imperfections together I really like it and to me some of the images I've created on film actually they feel like they have a little more heart to them they definitely have their own aesthetic so in some ways they're almost different. Medium digital photography and film photography are like watercolor and acrylics it's still painting uh I would argue but it's different mediums and so do you paint on a canvas or on watercolor paper? Do you paint with one kind of pains or another? In the end it's not like one is better than the other it's just a chosen form of expression and for a certain thing watercolor may be far more evocative. It may be a better form for or medium for certain forms, whereas what oils or acrylics may be better for something else and so you choose the right medium for your vision and for some of us film now we're going to be a little bit tired of sum of all the work we have to do to create these perfect images we may start going back to film teo recapture some of that uh that imperfection and that spontaneity and some of the heart that you know, when I was fifteen years old and running an old voight lander range finder, there was a certain amount of wonder what's going to come out now we know what's going to come out, we know what it every step we squeeze the shutter, we see the history ram, we see the image we loaded up immediately, some of us wirelessly to an ipad and there's all kinds of crazy stuff. We'd see it right there we can, we can make the adjustments. And literally three minutes after we shot the picture, have a finished print running out of our our big large format, I think for every give there's a little take forever take theirs a little give and I think we've lost something. So yes, I think in the end we were creating higher expectations, which is good, I think we're creating greater possibilities for a photography communicate, but at the same time, when you shift over here, you're leaving over here behind, and so some of us will go back to film also, some exclusively a film, they're just they're different things, and again in other art forms, I don't think you have people, probably going acrylics are better than water colors, you know now in watercolor circles, they may they may have little infighting going on, you know? But generally I think we just got different things it's like well, do both or do one or do the other but for the love of ansel adams, don't argue about which is better because it's a relevant stop arguing and go do what you want to do and if if you create perfect stuff and you don't like those imperfections, who cares what the market wants create what you want to create here here I think I don't know and again I'm very idealistic and I you know I mean I went to theology college I trained to be a preacher so this is my open your open your books to some one family never mind that explains a lot, doesn't it? I know what I call a rude how are we doing on time if we got time, we're going, yeah, we're going to go a little bit and then once the questions peter out, I think what we're gonna do is break for lunch and and taken our off okay, great see some interesting questions from ken stead in twitter I'm assuming that the client brief would also have an impact on post um not just your vision as the photographer yes or no? Absolutely I think if you're shooting commercially the client brief as it has a lot to do with post however, I am hoping the client shows you based on your previous work, and I'm hoping that that previous work eyes representative of your your vision and your style that expresses that vision. So I'm imagining that for most of us, unless the client sees that work and goes, wow, that's really good, can you do this, you know? And they're asking to do something completely different if they've hired you and your on ly have color photography on your site, and now they're asking, shooting black and white? Um, you may kind of question whether those to visions jive with each other. Uh, but generally I think clients at least clients that know what they're doing, which are not all clients, um, clients that don't know what they're looking for are gonna hire you based on the vision that you've exhibited in your portfolio, and they're going to hire you because they like that look, so there should be ah, khun grew insee of visions between are released a compatibility of vision between you and the client and then it's a question of collaboration and and they will give you some specs, and they'll tell you what they're looking for. They may return to you after you've given them stop and go, you know, these are a little too contrast, either, and then again, it's just it's, a matter of collaboration but it always is I mean, that's the artistic process when you're involved with anyone except yourself, there's give and take and and I think you khun b b really partners about it say absolutely, I will not change my final product, in which case you're probably better off not being a commercial photographer, nothing good or bad about that it's just that as a commercial photographer, you need a certain skill set in one of those things includes the ability to compromise and work well with clients and adhere to their original and that's why they paid you. I didn't hire you to be a diva, and one of the reasons clients like me and work with me is because I'm flexible and I'm easy and I'm not I would frankly, it took a lot of joy in collaborating and making the client happy with the final results, so if they say, you know, I don't not really digging that split tone let's dial it back a bit, I'm okay with being wrong, I'm okay with saying in, well, let's see what that looks like and go with it better to be better to go with the flow than just go do you have usually means you're fired? Do you ever give different or published different versions of the same photo I have? Yeah, yeah, because again a lot of what I do is very reactionary, so I will come back after a shooting and play with it and I'll put it out and that's one of things I love about my block, I can immediately be putting stuff out in the world and people will give me feedback going, I really like that while push the blacks a little far on that, right? And most the people on the block know that I'm kind of open to that and if I like their feedback will take it and if I don't know it's just like, well, great, you know, next time you take a picture like this don't push the black so far, but my picture will push him as far as I want. Uh, but the feedback is good and I'm not so proud is to say, well, you know, what do you know? Because they know obviously what they know is preference, they know they prefer and I'm quite willing to go now let me try it, you know, and I made out back and I liked the way I had it, but that's an immediate thing, and then maybe a year later, I revisit the image and go, you know what? This is actually an image that's better in color, siri's, and so I may make a difference a print of it I may even I've sold prince in different ways I've sold this is a uh a metallic print that's pure black and white in the limited edition and then once that was done it's like with the limited edition of that black and white metallic print is done there's no more and but I may eventually go back and re issue this is a color print in a different format different you know because again there's that bigger vision I capture but it could be expressed in different ways and that's okay well see why not and what about to the client sorry, do you would you ever give them an option give them different stiles and see what I have I have given the client option now again most of my clients there weii worked together enough that I know they want color and I know they want a certain look and feel and usually if I'm asking how should they post process this I ask myself what did the client what were they looking out when they hired me to go back to the portfolio? Okay? It was bright, it was cheerful, it was contrast, it was whatever and I give them that and then I'm quite open to them because I give them selects like if I'm on the field in wherever if I haven't an internet connection I will give them five shots from the day post process the way that I would do roughly you know I don't have a color corrected monitor on the field and I would email it to them and if they have any feedback they'll come back and tell me you know, pushing it a little too far looks perfect or whatever again collaborative right communicate with them and say how am I going too far and they say yes or no and just tweak it a little but multiple versions is nice because you sometimes I shouldn't go here's a black and white I know you're not going to use it I know you're you know you're probably gonna hate it but I really like it so I just wanted you to see and that gives them the freedom to go actually that's pretty cool we might use this and it gives them an idea and it starts them asking hey, what if we use this in this or some that's a long way of saying yes david I have a couple of related questions from across photo in chat and harry marks in twitter who are both asking about um speaking of fine art um and you were just talking about your clients uh being the humanitarian agencies um so what do you personally deal with your finer and do you sell it? Do you sell it to stock uh where you selling the majority of your work that's not commercial or well I primarily created purely for myself because I love photography and and I and I have for a long, long time um but I love to get it out there so I my way of doing it the internets provided us incredible opportunity that no one has had ever in the past and that is just an absence of gatekeepers and we have become our own distributors are all publishers and so like I said I can come back from a trip and um in fact when I came back from one of your very first trips I want to ethiopia for for a month and I came back and I was on a plane and they still were they're coming back now with wife I am bored but lufthansa had wifi as long as you're in the northern hemisphere you get wifi on board and I was over iceland or greenland or whatever way up and I was online posting a slideshow that I just created while I was you know, sitting in the airport and by the time I landed people were already on the block giving me feedback about this assignment that I don't I'd post it was just a self assignment we're doing making a cookbook about ethiopian food and the amazing thing is we have an incredible ability to just do our stuff and share it so good and getting back to that paradigm we talked about what chase terrible create and share I can create and I can put it out in the world and go here it is go for it now the e books for me have become something I'm really enjoying because I love to teach I love to share what I do and why I do it how I do it and so I'm doing these e books and have a couple of them some arm or instructional and so I just used my image is kind of his background it gives people are way to look at them um some of them I'm doing this new series called the print in the process and so I put thirty images or whatever in the boat just let them stand on their own they're not illustrations, they're not they don't have text overlays or anything. They're just photographs and then the last half of the book I actually share, you know, here's what I was thinking, I'm a talk about how I did it, I may talk more about why, but I just talk about my process, but it gives me a chance to go and shoot and put thirty of my images in a book form and then put him on the internet and people can get him immediately, so and then of course, you know, the photographs going here, I don't do a lot of print sales I mean they're they're increasingly available and I print on a big canvas and they look beautiful but even someone like our wolf who you know we were talking yesterday and the bulk of his stuff is not print sales either and more of it goes in the books and more of it goes, you know, online and that's what I think they the he still does print sales it's just not massive because the possibilities with the internet are so much more and they're much cheaper I mean, ah five dollars a book or a five hundred dollar canvas? Well, you know you got a five dollars book I could carry with me I can look at multiple formats I don't have to have a big place on my wall and if I move in two weeks I don't have to take a big giant canvas that could get broken so you know, people aren't necessarily investing in the output of fine art the way we used to, but there's still a market for it and I again I do it because I love it and so if the end of the day it just goes on a big canvas on my wall and I look at it and you know I'm not looking at it going wow, I'm a pretty good photographer the reason I took that picture because something moved me so I'm looking at it going what that look at that scene I'm still looking at that moment I'm still experiencing it so for me if all I ever do with my photography has put it on my own wall and it helps me experience life more fully and remember those moments that's great to have a question from darla sutton on twitter and she s is there some value to photography contest that help that fine that you find helpful to vision there's a lot of value to looking at the photographs that wind photography contests um yeah I'm sure there are I think I am of mixed opinion about contest um and the reason for that is I'm not sure it's healthy for us his artists compare ourselves to one another I don't even like if you go into the forms or the internet and you'll have this idea of you know so and so is one of the best photographers working today and I'm sure whoever wrote that knew what they meant by that but when I read it I kind of go what does that mean now who are you who are you to say that someone is always better than someone so how do you compare two photographers working into indifferent disallowed even compared to photographers working the same discipline you know is kenny rogers better than bonnell is bonneau better than you know roger whittaker better than I mean you may have an opinion about it but ultimately art is art and and I think you may like one more than the other but to say it's better I'm just not really sure what that means now if we were judging things purely based on craft and we had a and they were awards that were meritorious based on some actual define nable curricular are set of criteria I think maybe but again I'm not interested in technically perfect photographs so what might win is a technically perfect photograph I'm a lookout doesn't move me and if it doesn't move me I don't care if you haven't made me care through your photography what's the point no, I mean you may have informed me about something and that's okay, that might be a pathway to meet carrying but ultimately if you have moved me in some way I'm not really interested in just purely illustrative photographs that's not why I do it if you want to just do illustrate a photograph and I'll get a point and shoot and create illustrative photographs do you want to do it is already say something, which is the point of all this then I'm not sure comparing one with the other I mean I wouldn't want to compare my work with with your work because you created with a different vision how do I say? Well, I pulled off my vision better and you pulled off your vision and man you know, this isn't some big art wink this is about creating something that expresses your vision is a unique thing and we're not in grade seven anymore so I know there's a reason that we do these I just can't figure it out and and with respect to people that judge the contest and that sort of thing and I done it too but I I just something inside me bristles every time because I kind of go you know I'm looking at one hundred different images yes some of them are technically better some of them are um or a motive but for me to narrow it down and go well this is the winner you know art is not about who wins and who loses yea you win you know I don't want to win in the world of heart I want to create something that moves people and sometimes I'll totally fail something the minute you enter this kind of comparative or competitive mindset I don't know how healthy is that you know did did again you know arthur painters entering competitions you know? I mean maybe on some level they're truly are but you know, I can't imagine picasso looking forward to that you know, the impressionist q slash cubist photographer sort painter contest of the year I just I'm sure he had better things to dio I am sure he probably didn't really care about what the judge thought so anyway, again, that's totally my opinion, I'm sure there is value, there is great value and looking like theirs travel photographer of the year contest I look at the results every year because there's some beautiful work that comes out of it. I mean, there really is some amazing work, so if you want to profile your stuff and I'm not judging the motives of people that put this on or even enter, I'm just saying, I'm not sure it's for me, but it does produce some amazing work, and so by all means go on the big thing that that I think people need to understand about the's contest is got to read the rules and that's why people get jumpy about this rights grabbing stuff because we work hard at what we do, and a lot of these contests are actually fronts for getting images that they condemned, put in books and make a lot of money, or I'm not again assuming their their motives. But there are there are things going on in the world of contest, in competitions that are just a front for rights, crab that's why people get so jumpy, I work hard for my images, and I want to sell them, and I want to make some money off potentially. I don't want someone that hasn't done anything except make a crappy contest, making money off my photographs that's why people get jumpy. And so if I were to say anything about contest, I would say that what we're in need of is a format where we could do these contests without all this legalese stuff. And I can you know, we needed the legalese. I know there are people that are doing these contests that also need that legalese. But it's, when you leverage that legalese and go ha, we have your photographs. We will now use them until the end of the world, and you will not make any money on it because we have exclusive perpetual worldwide use in every medium on the planet. So can I talk a lot? Ok, next question. And then we're gonna break for lunch one more. What are you gonna have for lunch? That was a question from twitter. All right, well, I have no idea actually, I will eat whatever they give me. So let's let's, my vision for lunch is something sea foodie. But I don't know if I will be able to express my vision because I'm not feeding myself so I could see food can I fish tacos, what I am and it's salmon, I'm having salmon for lunch I just spoke to her laptop you notice that I just spoke directly to her laptop as though it was a camera clearly I'm hungry I am having salmon for lunch um do you have one more question that's related not dietary needs well as a writer and a photographer what do you see as the relationship between the image and the word are they both striving to the same end will be a different paths or can there be a senator centered synergetic relationship synergistic relationship wow eyes, eh? Good question uh you ask for one more that's what you need to be honest that that's actually that's that's really that's an interesting question I don't know they it depends it depends where it exists. I mean, I will often right and throw I mean, if you look at my block all right and throw some photograph up is totally non related in the books. Sometimes the photographs like for example, within the frame the photographs illustrate the tax in someway or the text is is elaborating on the photograph so there's those kind of relationships in a book like vision mongers some of the photographs are just what we call you know clouds passing by they were just put in their toe make the book look a little more visually rich they were all images that on some level I shot commercially or others in the bookshop commercially um and so they weren't. They weren't even really illustrative. They were just simply there to kind of give texture and enriching the rich in the book. Um, I'm not sure, I I guess it depends on the contacts, because there certainly is, and they're different things. Words, khun do things that photographs, camp photographs, could do things, words can't there's this whole a picture's worth a thousand words, they're not it's. You know, some pictures are worth no words at all. Some pictures worth a great deal of words and some words are so it's, kind of like saying, you know, three apples is worth one hundred oranges. Well, maybe I don't always kind of, you know, I got what they're saying, but they're they're different mediums. You know, I would like to see that metaphor changed. You know, a picture is worth a hundred sculptures.

Class Description

Join David duChemin, author of the best-selling Within The Frame, as he teaches you how to use your camera and the digitial darkroom to find and express your vision as a photographer.


Maros Matousek

I have just finished this great class and ended up with a notebook full of notes. I highly recommend this class to all who would like to take not only technically perfect photographs but more importantly who want to express their vision and create something that moves others. I read many books by David and still enjoyed and got a better understanding throughout this course.

Melvin Williams

This course may seem to drone on at times but I firmly believe that repetition or other restatement helps learning. I highly recommend David's course, his ebooks and his site. He gets to the important stuff about photography. He focuses on the conceptually tough stuff like vision, finding your own, and less on the "geek" technical stuff that, while necessary, is only a tool to accomplishing your vision, what you want to say in your photograph.

Phillip Ziegler

David is always worth listening to. The course might have been shorter given there was a lot of repetition and conversation that wasn't terribly interesting or valuable. But when it was good it was amazing. I learned a lot and it was worth the time and money spent.