Last weekend I spent some time reprocessing some older photos for a write-up on the Outbound. As I looked through my older shots, I kept asking myself, “What the heck were you thinking??”
The shots themselves were solid compositions (in my opinion) but the edits were….well…not. They were okay, but they didn’t reflect where I am as an artist today.
Art is funny that way, ya know? Trends change. The look that was popular a few years ago is most definitely not what we see now. A few years ago, many of the landscapes you saw were run through HDR software, so they had very even tones across the board. The highlights and deep shadows were pulled back, and the lack of dynamic light was over-shadowed by the fantastic colors.
Older version of the same image is significantly different based on both growing my editing skills and current trends.
Now, you’re seeing a trend for extremely dramatic light…lot of deep shadows during the magic hours. Think Ryan Dyar or Marc Adamus.
Now, these shots are stunning. But having watched the HDR revolution come and go, I can definitely see it’s a trend. I have no idea how long it will last, before the next editing style gets its 15 minutes of fame.
Which brings up a good point, I think…. Your edits really can make or break an image. It’s important to learn to use your camera in the field, but in today’s world, your edits can hold almost as much weight. If you put together a well composed photo in good light, but the edit doesn’t highlight the strong points of the image, it will get overlooked in favor of an image with the more popular editing trends.
Now, if you make art for you…then you do what looks best to your eye! But if you make art for a living…then you need to catch the buyers eye or you can’t put food on the table.
For me personally, I strive for a photo with dynamic, molded light. I don’t often go so far as to create surreal images, but rather, I’ll try to enhance the light as it falls normally. Molded light is…well…my newest trend. ;-)
The shot above was taken at Enders Falls in CT.
For more information about the edit and/or classes, contact me at seespotsphoto at yahoo dot com.
Also, if you’re an iPhone/iPad user, check out my newest article on seeing in Black and White in issue 9 of Light and Landscape magazine.