When you read or view tutorials about photography online, it’s hard not to feel most of the teachers are putting the cart before the horses. It is not uncommon to witness a terribly elaborate post-processing procedure applied to a photograph that’s composed all meh, for example.
So, I’d like to offer a counter point to this. After announcing Critique, last week, here’s a look at Basics, a new series of posts for the new year.
In my mind, it’s far more useful to master the basics and and experiment than to follow advanced tutorials in certain areas with weak foundations in others. I think it’s fair to say that fewer than 1% of the influential and expensive (outdoors) photographs seen galleries and museums used fancy techniques. An inverse proportion, however, had the fundamentals perfectly right.
Photography is generally a reactive process. Unless you are working in a studio or are setting up shots with lights, filters and assistants, you’re generally reacting to a scene and having to make do with what’s there. To do this successfully, you need to build a solid intuition. And to do that, you need to keep things as simple as possible, experiment, and get feedback.
The Basics series will be all about keeping things as simple as possible.
It isn’t meant to dumb down aspects of photography, but to isolate and explain the essentials as well as possible.
The first part – isolating – is at least as important as the second – explaining. Because in a world where everyone wants to sell you something, it’s difficult to sort the signal from the noise and do that isolating on your own, unless you’re already a subject matter expert.
That’s why I’ll try not to do this alone.
My ideas on some topics are very clear. Composition, post processing, for example. But they are far more shaky in other areas of photography, such as colour science. And it’s quite likely that there are other areas that elude me completely and would never make it to this series if not through the suggestion of someone else.
Teams always win over individuals. So, I’m hoping expert volunteers will help me with this.
To repeat, the goal of this series is to isolate what’s important in every aspect of photography. In post processing, for example, that’s lighting and contrast. All the fancy scripts using 12 layers you can find by the dozen on youtube are the 5% icing on that 95% foundation. Software such as Hasselblad’s Phocus doesn’t even allow anything fancy to be done. It’s all about following a logical and efficient workflow of basic manipulations.
So we’ll be focusing on understanding contrast far more than on masking.
And we’ll be focusing on how all of those basics work together.
And, yes, we’ll be working with non-Disney pictures as well 😉 😉 I just can’t resist using those here 🙂 So, if you already know of a topic you’d like to read about, please let us know in the comments. And if you’re willing to share your high-level of expertise on any photo-centric topic with others, please contact me at pascal dot jappy at gmail dot com.
Over and out ’til after Christmas. Let me wish you a very happy holiday. Stay safe, stay united. Cheers.
Never miss a post
Like what you are reading? Subscribe below and receive all posts in your inbox as they are published. Join the conversation with thousands of other creative photographers.
#1210. News from Pixii
#1022. Monday Post (back from hols, news, reminders and the future)
#1000. Gol Mil. Our hopes for the next 1000.
#824. Monday Post (25 Feb. 2019)- From multi-lens platforms to multi-platform lenses (back to the MP roots)
#721. Finding the week links in photography #1
#1220. #MonochromeAugust (Pixii challenge)
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.