As I work in IT, I’m completely comfortable with computer technology. As such, it’s hardly surprising that I jumped into photography by buying a digital camera. At the time it was just my latest tech toy but this turned out to be one that stuck. I used to go to gigs and take bad photos with my little digital camera and then when I got home I would crop and tweak mercilessly on the computer to make it look like I was a decent photographer.
I don’t do that anymore. I find it painful enough to go through a shoot of hundreds of shots (one long day I shot 1350 images) just to pull out the good stuff. I’ve no interest in then wasting more time individually editing the good images I found. If I’m going to spend time on my photography, I’d much rather be doing that with a camera in my hand and my finger on the shutter button.
So these days I’m pretty brutal. If a good image has some small flaw, it often ends up in my pile of discarded images. Most of the flaws I see were avoidable when I was shooting so I prefer to just mutter some swear words under my breath and vow to avoid that mistake in future. Maybe it sounds brutal but when I get an image exactly right, the buzz I get from that is what keeps me shooting.
Here on Redbubble there are many Photoshoppers. Some are gurus who can make an image zing with a few invisible tweaks. Some are masterful at creating fascinating collages from a few simple raw elements. On the flipside, we have those who simply can’t resist Photoshop-ing – they take a decent image and tweak it, then tweak it some more, and then some more, and then when I look at the final image, all I can see is all of the Photoshop-ing. You know the ones: simple landscapes glowing like they’re neon-lit. The effects overpower the simplicity of the original image and it ends up feeling cheap, as if the photographer couldn’t simply trust their skills with the camera. A great photo is simply that: a great photo. It doesn’t need anything else so please, stop it. If your photo isn’t interesting without Photoshop then it probably isn’t interesting at all. Our goal shouldn’t be nice images: we should always be striving for interesting images. Those are the images we remember.
This long rambling brings me to this group, perhaps my new spiritual home on Redbubble:As-is group
Raw images, direct from the camera – that’s my kinda group. So far I’ve only dropped a few of my images in there but right now, I am completely chuffed to say 3 of the 12 images featured there are mine. I look forward to spending a lot more time with this group, sharing what I do and being in awe of what others can do with just a camera.