I’m currently working on a new book which is probably going to be titled “B&W Mastery: Lightroom Edition”. The book is targeted at users of Lightroom who are trying to master the elements of black and white photography in the digital age, using Lightroom. As I was developing one of the Chapters I started to write about vision and realised that this is such an important subject that I wanted to share some key points immediately.
Vision is a term we see and hear a lot in Photography but it can be confusing. In my simple terms, vision is how you imaging the finished image to look before you actually create it. How you create the finished image is what you then need to work out. But if you don’t have a vision for the finished image, you’re not going to create a strong, compelling photograph.
The importance of having a clear vision is most obvious at two points in the photographic workflow:
- The point at which you take the photograph
- The point at which you edit the image
When you are capturing the image with your camera, having a vision will allow you to select the right settings to control the camera as well as use any special techniques. Important questions can then be answered such as will you use a slow or fast shutter speed to freeze or blur motion? How much depth of field will you use? Without a clear vision you can’t make these decisions and you’re reliant on luck.
When you reach the point that you want to process your image, you again need a strong vision. If you don’t have a strong vision of the finished image you will find yourself simply experimenting and not creating. Whilst experimentation has its place, you need a strong vision of the finished image in order to create the photograph.
The reason I share this particular image is that I shot it almost 4 years ago but never processed it until now. Now that I have come to review the image, I can immediately recognise what I was trying to create when I captured the scene. Recognising this allows me to quickly process the image to create the finished photograph.
So do yourself a favour next time you are out shooting. Spend time to develop your vision for each scene you shoot.
I love trees and last weekend went for a walk in the Peak District, above and then along the banks of Derwent reservoir. The autumn colours were quite spectacular but it’s this tree that captured my attention. The bark was a wonderful silver blue colour and seemed so smooth. I’m not sure that it comes across clearly in the image but I still wanted to share it.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Firstly I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for your support with yesterday’s problem. A number of people also emailed me to say don’t worry about 1 star reviews where there is no comment (“no one ever pays attention to these”). Unfortunately the sales data suggests people are swayed strongly by a 1 star review, even with a low priced book. I guess they don’t want to waste valuable time and I can’t blame them. Fortunately the problem is now resolved so thank you.I would like to emphasise that I am always open to new ideas for future books and articles so please feel free to contact me.
Now to the subject of today’s post – Lightroom. Have you noticed there has been a new release of Lightroom over the past few weeks? If not and you are using version 6 (or are a CC subscriber) you might want to take a closer look.
When Lightroom 6 launched there was a lot of publicity about the new merge to HDR and to a lesser extent merge to Panorama. What didn’t receive much attention the new “Dehaze” feature.
Now if you are a Landscape Photographer this is a great tool. It seems to cut through the atmospheric haze that can often occur. But equally and very usefully, it can also introduce the appearance of haze. Unfortunately the slider control (found under Effects) is a global adjustment and so will act on all areas of your image.
What this latest release of Lightroom has introduced is a Dehaze control into the Gradient and Brush tools. This means you can now apply the adjustment to selected areas of the image which opens up a lot of new options. The global control is great for removing haze but isn’t good for introducing it. But make a selection with the Brush tool and you can increase the feeling of depth in your image or even simulate fog.
If you haven’t tried this tool yet you really should.
I recently published a book on Amazon called “Photoshop Layers: Professional Strength Image Editing”. It took many hours and days of effort over a 6 month period to develop the end product and I was very pleased with the end result. It was actually doing quite well until it received its first review. The review gave it 1 star and quite simply said “Do not waste your money in this book.”
In all honesty I believe the book is a lot better than 1 star but the review, as you can imagine is putting people off despite the very modest pricing.
If you have you have purchased the book from Amazon.com and you like it, please help me out and post an honest review. I’m hoping this will help give potential readers a little more confidence and means that it’s worth my time spent developing these books.
I have been rather tied up this week by all sorts of things (such as earning a living) that have prevented me from blogging and I’m feeling very guilty. This is in stark contrast to last year when I was away, trekking in Bolivia at this time. In fact I’m pretty sure the hardest thing I was doing is climbing the volcano you see in the picture above. Actually this is just one side of it and at over 5,300m it was a pretty impressive sight. And if you’re wondering are the colours real, yes they are.
Have a great weekend everyone.
I shot this image back at the beginning of April. At the time there were no images that I liked but now that I return to review them I find quite a few that I like, including this one.
For those who don’t know the area, this is Gordale Scar in the Yorkshire Dales. It’s an amazing place but incredibly difficult to capture the essence of the location in a single image. For anyone wanting to know more there is a brief entry on Wikipedia
Have a great weekend everyone.
As some regular readers may be aware, I have recently added to my equipment with a Sony A7r. It’s an impressive piece of equipment and is capable of resolving an amazing amount of detail with the right lenses. If you’re not aware of the specification, the sensor is 36Mpixels and it has no antialiasing filter so that you can achieve optimal sharpness. The image you see at the top of this post was captured using the Sony.
Of course, all this resolution places huge demands on your lenses so that any softness will become immediately evident. I’m sure if you are a Canon or a Nikon user you will have heard the comments that with the top of the range cameras you need top class professional lenses. I recall when I bought a Canon 5D MKII a number of years back it was deemed necessary to use L series lenses. With the Nikon D800, I read similar comments about needing the best Nikkor lenses.
Now take a look at the image below. Be sure to click the image to review it at full resolution. It’s of a section of the above image viewed at 100% magnification. There is also a second image shown, also magnified to the same location. Before reading on I would like you to decide which image has resolved the best.
Both images have been sharpened and processed similarly. The one on the left was shot using a Canon 24-70L f/4.0 at f/11 mounted onto the Sony (zoomed to 35mm). The full retail price of this lens is £1,100. The other image was shot using a Canon 35mm FD lens bought on ebay for less than £35. This isn’t even a late version of the lens. It’s an early example and it’s only single coated.
Now you might be thinking surely this is a fluke but we repeated the experiment using an old 24mm FD prime and also a 70-210 zoom. The results are all similar. Even the zoom lens matched up to the 70-200L zoom.
So, what was that line we were all being fed about needing top of the range lenses.