Essential skills for Photography – Skill 6


In this final blog post of the series I will introduced the sixth skill that I believe is essential in producing great photography.

Image Adjustment

There are two aspects to this:

  1. Technical skills to be able to make the adjustment
  2. Aesthetic skills so that the adjustments are pleasing and not taken to an extreme

For the first element you must understand the image editing and adjustment tools that you use. You must also seek to use the best and understand how the different controls can be used to manipulate he image. You also need to understand this from the perspective of a photographer or an artist. You are not interested in lightening an image or adjusting the contrast, you are interested in creating illusion. Illusions such as sharpness and clarity. You need to understand how to control and manipulate light.

As you master your chosen tools you also need to understand the aesthetics of the adjustments you make. Your adjustments should be believable and realistic. Take your adjustment too far and the image will appear ugly. This is art and this is where you can truly introduce your vision.

Now it’s your turn. What have I missed? Do you agree with the skills discussed or do you find the concept of these skills too vague? Let’s share some opinions.

6 thoughts on “Essential skills for Photography – Skill 6

  1. I see this a little differently – for me messing about with software is easy if you know what you want to do with an image. Deciding whether you’ve over-cooked an image is a matter of sticking it on the wall or posting it to a helpful internet group.

    Where I’m stuck is the step between picking the strongest image and playing with software. How do I decide what to do with it. John Blakemore suggests looking at the work of Paul Caponigro and some other luminous luminaries, but while I see their work as brilliant examples of tonality (he doesn’t mention Sudek, he’s my favourite) I can see that it’s brilliant, but I’m not sure why or how to technically form a view on how to get there.

    Your book on Silver Efex and in particular the worked examples are a help, but this seems to be an area where there is little help available – or at least where I’ve failed to find it.

    1. Hi David. Great question. I am going to make this the subject of my next blog post. My approach may or may not work for you but I think it’s worth sharing in case it helps yourself and others.

  2. Thanks Robin

    I’ve had a look at your response and I think I just need to work on developing my vision and seek more critiques! I’m setting off with The Photographer’s Coach now – looking forward to it.


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