You may have read my previous blog about not ruling out techniques before trying them and to look for new ways of doing things in places you might not ordinarily look. Since then I have started to notice lots of new things but also quite a few bad habits that I seem to have developed. Something I have always recommended to everyone is to make an assessment of your image at each key step in the artistic process. This means:
- Before you release the shutter make sure you have made a conscious effort to assess what it is that you want to capture in this image. Once you have made your choices you can use tools such as composition, depth of field and exposure to do this to the best effect. Decisions I take at this point will limit and dictate the decisions I make at later points.
- When starting the RAW conversion and processing I again need to spend time assessing the image and thinking how I might want the final image to look. Again this will limit later decisions in ways I need to understand and appreciate.
- Before I print the image I again need to assess how I would like the image to be viewed and appear.
What I have realised is that I am not really doing any of these points anymore and my work may be suffering as a result. Somewhere along my photographic journey I have stopped making decisions when I shoot and instead I am just rattling off lots of shots and variations. This eats up processing time later so the assessments at the RAW conversion and processing stage are confusion, more difficult to make and take longer. Time needs to be our best friend not our enemy or we will never create great work.
One of my New Year resolutions then will be to stop and consider more before I shoot. I will shoot less and process more. I will also pause and write my image evaluation thoughts before I start to process them. Let’s see if it make a difference even if it just makes me feel better.