Edit and Share Your Images: Intimate Event
So sometimes when I go to post a picture, to work on a picture, one thing about Snapseed is that the interface, it's gotten better but it's not always so easy to scroll, like, let's say I've got, in the case of Alfie's birthday, which is what we're gonna work on now, hopefully there's nothing embarrassing, oh no, so there's, okay there's only, I did a very tight edit but let's say you've got 20, 30, 40 pictures or more, it's hard in Snapseed to figure out which is the one I wanna work on, like, to photo edit so I'll go to my camera roll or my photos app to do an initial edit. So in this case, so there's that picture, I quite like that picture. Yeah I didn't give myself that much choice, sorry. And then there's that image so I dunno, which one should we work on? Let's do them both. Let's get wild, all right. So I'm gonna go to Snapseed and go to open on the top left and we're gonna scroll, okay, let's see. What do we got here? All right, let's do this picture 'cause this picture needs s...
ome work, too. So I've opened it up. So sometimes, it's a trade secret but sometimes I will go to drama first thing and I just wanna see what it does. Sometimes when I work in Photoshop, I might go to curves and I might go to auto just to see what it does 'cause sometimes it's perfect in terms of what I imagined or sometimes it lets me know, oh okay, there's that texture or that tone in that area of the picture and then I'll get out of auto and then I'll do it in a manual way. So drama can do that for me. So see how, I mean, it's of course crazy exaggerated but what it's done is it's separated the characters much more, right, like, that's sort of muddy and dull. So I'm not sure this is gonna work but let's just see. And then I'll go to saturation, I'll bring up the saturation a little bit, sort of about right there and then I gotta go way down on the filter strength. See even that's looking, whoa, come back, even that's looking a little... Now there is a little bit, yeah, that's looking pretty good there. Now, here's where we started. Do you see how everything's more separated? So I think the filter strength could come down even more because you see the gentleman on the top left? There's a halo around his head? That's because of the filter strength. There we go. That's good there. Okay, so this is a case where, again, my approach to things where I will use drama to just give me a sense of what's possible. So I like that, so I'm gonna save it, bottom left. Now, I'm not done. I wanna make, I wanna bring out the faces of the parents on the right so I'm gonna go back to the tools and I'm gonna go to selective and I'm gonna first place it on the woman there and then pinch it so it's just on her. Gonna bring it up a little higher. Come on back. All right, and then I'm going left to right to make it brighter. Let's see how that looks. All right, it's okay but I need to move it up more into her face. You guys following me, are we doing okay here? Very weird to do these live things. All right, I think that's about as good as I'm gonna get it. Then I'm gonna, so then, so one thing in this selective mode, you can do it more than once so you go down, I tapped on that, the circle with the cross in it. When it's blue that means it's live, then I place it on that guy there and, again, I'm going to bring it down to the area I want and I'm gonna make it a little brighter. Okay, I like that so I'm saving that. I think the boy is good. There's really nice light on his face. I think we're good, now there's other things I like to work with, you go to, on the top left, tune image. There's this wonderful, you see, this one has, you see how many different things this has. Warmth, highlights, shadows, saturation, don't need saturation, don't think I need contrast, ambiance, that's another one of those magic ones, it just makes us look better. So... I'm gonna scroll, come on give it to me, there you go, I'm gonna scroll left to right and increase the ambiance. You see what that does? It gives it a little more, it's sort of like a clarity button but, again, it separates, it separates the elements in the frame more. And then, let's see, what else can I do to this? I think that might be it here. And then I'm gonna click on the bottom right, the check mark. So now I got that. And there's one more thing that I like to do. I go up to details and this has two functions, sharpening, of course, and structure. Structure is another one of those magic post production things so I'll go really extreme. It's very hard to tell on this screen here but you see how it's almost like pixelated? I did it very extreme but you see how it brings out all the detail everywhere? So I use this more to bring out detail. So I'm gonna go way back on that. And you've got the value, if one is more scientific and does it by numbers, you have that, I do it by feel and look but some people will be very precise on the values that they make these. So I'm just gonna give it a little bit of a touch there and then I'm gonna go to sharpening, I'm just gonna give it a little bit of a sharpening there, too, okay. I'm gonna click okay on the bottom right and... I just wanna see something here. Okay. I think we're good to go, I almost want to see what this looks like in black and white. Can I, can I? Yeah, okay, good, thank you. So what I'm gonna do now is I'm gonna go to save, save a copy, so I got, I've preserved what I've done in color, now I'm gonna go back to the tools on the bottom right and I'm gonna go to black and white, bottom left. Mm-kay, which is much better to do than going to saturation and just desaturating 'cause when you do that, there's sometimes still a little bit of a hint of color, which can look cool, ya know, but it, for some it might have that weird, almost like, the old pen coloring feel to it, that's not weird but it's, all right, you know what else I'm seeing? The top right is way too bright. It's way too bright, I'm gonna have to go and burn that down. So I kinda like this in black and white, I'm liking this in black and white. So I'm gonna click okay, bottom right check, now I'm gonna go into selective. And I'm gonna place the blue dot in the top right corner and again squeeze it to just the area I want to impact. And then now I go right to left so you see the brightness decreases. The problem with this is you see how it's very muddy? So this is before, after, it's a little muddy. Now, let's see if I remember how to do this. So you see if I put my finger on the screen and then it gives me within the burning and dodging, B for brightness, C for contrast, and S for saturation probably, okay, so I'm feeling that this is a little muddy, not sure... Or cropping. Did I hear cropping? There we go. So saturation's really not appropriate with this but I'm gonna reduce it anyway. Then... Contrast is what's gonna help me. By increasing the contrast in the area that I'm burning in, it will not be quite so muddy. Does that make sense? Right, so isn't it cool that we have that much control? I mean, look, I understand this is not Photoshop on your computer but to think we have this level of control and all this stuff is only gonna get more powerful and more effective as technology rolls forward. All right so let me see here now. All right, it's not perfect but that's better, I like that, now what I wanna do is I wanna, I'm pinching it out to expand the... Okay, I'm liking that, I'm liking that, I'm not in love with it but I'm liking it. Now I'm gonna, I wanna get this area in the middle darker as well. 'Cause you know, I always talk about, again, when we talk about your photograph has a roadmap, a visual roadmap, I wanna lead the viewer, I wanna lead the viewer and so I don't want the viewer's eye to be rummaging around on this bright ceiling 'cause it's distracting, I want 'em to go straight to the boy's face and then work around the other three faces. So let's see here. All right, that's definitely better to me so I'm gonna save that. Now I'm gonna go back and I'm gonna actually bump up the contrast a little bit. Don't ask me why but I am. So we're gonna go back to... Tune image. Contrast and I'm just gonna pop a little bit of contrast there. Okay. Good, there we have it so now I'm gonna save that as a copy. So let's see, go to the camera roll. So we've got this. It's interesting, now that I'm seeing black and white, I don't like the color. What do you guys think? 'Cause the yellow, what, sorry? You like the black and white, right? All right, cool, so now I'm gonna go to Instagram and... Should we go to the neurotic counter first? Yes, listen to you. Okay, it's an important part of it. Oh you should see me, when I'm in the field and I'm, like, seriously posting, it's kind of pathetic, yeah, anyways, all right, so... So let's see what we got here. All right we're almost up to 600. Who here likes their own photographs on their Instagram feed? Don't be shy. I do and I got like outed in a workshop. You know where I was, so here I'm gonna like it, where I was, like, doing this and then someone raised their hands and go, "Excuse me, do you like "all your photographs?" And I was like, "I hadn't even thought about it." There's nothing wrong with self-love okay? So we're gonna to publish, there's the picture. Definitely want it full frame, gonna go to next. Now, again, I always do this, I hit the clarity button, just wanna see what it looks like. I think in this case, I think we're all right where we were. I might just, I'm gonna pop just a touch. Hit it okay. Now, for those of you who are not familiar with the tools on Instagram, let's just go through that so that's the icon on the right side in the middle, like the wrench and now, look at all the different, I said we weren't gonna get technical and look at me here, but you know I've always believed that in every photographer, there's a little bit of a nerd so all right, so you've got, you can adjust the orientation of the frame but you've got brightness, contrast, structure, structure which is similar to the structure in Snapseed, warmth, saturation, I know for some of you, you might know this already, so bear with us, we got color, fade and then highlights and shadow I find are a very good tool to use if I've gotten it to this point even though I put it through Snapseed but I'm still not sure, ya know, then I'll, 'cause I find this to be somewhat of an imperfect science, working on your mobile photography, even though Snapseed and all these things are so amazing, it's not like working in adjustment layers in Photoshop, I mean, I think we're, well I know there is a Photoshop mobile app but, anyway, that's above my pay grade so we go to highlights, this is another really important point because one of the, and I hope you guys don't feel this way, but one of the beautiful things about mobile photography is it's not all that other stuff, that it's just in your pocket, I can make a picture of you guys, I can spend a few seconds on it and I can share it and let's not forget that's one of the real magical elements of this medium so it's up to the individual how much labor and effort they want to put into the capture part of it and the post production part of it and even, to some degree, to the sharing part of it. I have colleagues who write little novels in their captions where they put 40 hashtags, ya know? So in all of the stages, we all can choose how much or how little we want to engage with this medium if you like. Okay, so I got this set. Now I'm gonna post it. Well first, go to the captions. I already got guff from a friend who posted a picture earlier and I didn't shout her out. Sorry, Liz! It's just overwhelming, okay, so we're gonna go to intimate event here, again, copy and paste. And there's the pasting. I'm gonna add @viiphoto, there we go, hit okay. Go to my Facebook and boom we've published. Oh, nice picture, Landon. So there we go. So I guess my question, ya know, when I think about this picture, again, if I were that boy's parents, would I want to receive that picture from the photographer? Right? I mean I know there's this whole thing, like, we're always supposed to be happy and positive but, you know, that's not how life is. So I wonder, I wonder what do you guys think? Like... I mean, ya know, he's really interesting boy, very sweet looking boy. So... Ya know and I think there's a way that, well that's an interesting question, I think that, ya know, talk about and rightfully so how we're sort of, there's this deluge of imagery in our lives now, mainly because of these devices and Instagram and social media and it gets to the point where how much impact does an individual picture have anymore on us, right, when there's this constant stream of pictures but I would argue that when you can make a picture that is not perfect, that is more memorable, that captures a unique moment or does it in a way that is incredibly beautiful or incredibly interesting or uses the language of photography in a creative way that we do remember those pictures, ya know? So, all right, do we wanna do one more? There's something about over-posting by the way. That's really important that this idea of oversharing and, again, it depends on some people have their Instagram feeds are private so it's just a small group, presumably friends and family and all that but for those who are very public, there is something about over-publishing and I am finding that it's not good to publish really more than one picture a day, two pictures a day because if, for people who follow Instagram a lot, if you look at multiple feeds, it contributes to that, almost sort of visual noise, ya know, so that I would argue it's better to post a little less, we're talking about Instagram here, not if you send the pictures to the family at the birthday party, right, that's different. That's different.
Question for you on that.
So when you're posting images on your Instagram feed and it sounds like you have a couple, are you thinking about the entire feed, like somebody's looking at maybe nine, 12 pictures or are you thinking one on one in a story for each one depending on what's happening to you.
At the moment?
So when I'm posting, if I'm doing, like, today I'm doing just a couple of posts or I'll end up doing three posts today, I'm just thinking about those pictures, ya know, I'm not thinking about them creating a larger story per se, all right? Now there are times where I might post a single picture, as a matter of fact, right now I'm posting for a new app called Kodak Moments, where I'm posting a picture with a story around it so that does happen at times but I also do very deliberate, ya know, like one week length campaigns where I'm posting and in that case, there's a very deliberate and intentional edit and the sequence of the pictures and the captions and the idea that they build on each other so that in a way, in the course of a week, you might see 15, 16 pictures that individually hopefully say something but that if you were to go back and look at them, it creates, like, a photo essay. Which is also a really cool way to use the medium. Yeah.
It's actually related to this whole idea of oversharing and over-publishing, do you see that it has reduced the memorability of individual pictures and therefore do you have to make it more unique? Because we are taking pictures all the time and therefore does such reduce the meaning of what memorable is for each picture?
Can we get into that, Kenna?
'Cause no, literally.
It's a big one, it's a good one.
Last month, I was in India working and I don't know why I was struck by this thought and I thought about how when I was growing up, I grew up in the New York area and I would look at Life Magazine and those then black and white photographs which then there wasn't much else to learn about the world from. It wasn't pre-TV but, you know, TV wasn't doing what it's doing now, right? Those images are seared in the back of my brain and at that moment, they blew my mind open to the world. Whether it was events in Vietnam or just something about a celebrity or whatever or something somewhere around the world about a culture and I was thinking about that early one morning in India just in January when I was shooting and I was just thinking, "Does that happen anymore?" It's really the spirit of, it's absolutely what your question is about that when you're looking at so much imagery on your phone, if you look at TV, on the internet on your computer, on and on and on, billboards, all these different things advertising. How can anything penetrate deeply anymore? And I wonder about that, I didn't come up with an answer, by the way, when I was in India. And it wasn't something that I had, it just kind of popped into my head, like, "God, I remember," I was lying in bed and I was thinking, "God I remember "when I'd look at those pictures," and it just, like, just opened my mind to the world and it established not just my memories but my knowledge base. So that's what it looks like and of course it was in black and white but remember when black and white was considered real? Black and white was reality? So warped. Anyway, but, so I think today, we have a much greater challenge to make images that will have that impact, especially that lasting impact but it's possible, like the picture of me and my son. I have looked at it so many times and I almost started to cry again and it's just, granted that's a personal one but there's so many pictures I've made of the world out there that I feel do that for me and, of course, other photographers and colleagues and even yourselves might make pictures that, well the picture of the burning funeral fire, yeah, like, that is in my head now, ya know, but I want to see the lips brighter, I wanna see the eye brighter, but you know, so I do think, I also think that the world is separated between people who are photographers and love photography and the rest of the world. Right? Yeah, I know we have to deal with the rest of the world but anyway and I think there's just something about photography when it gets in your bones and in your blood even if you're not doing it for a living, even if you're not, don't do it a lot, it's like if you fall in love with it, if you get nipped by that bug, I think you also become more susceptible to learning from pictures and remembering them.