Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Working the Darkroom

Great photography has always been a product of both shooting and developing. This was true long before Photoshop; cropping, dodging and burning were always part of the process.

So, after your Work the Scene, you need to consider Working the Darkroom, which, of course, has gone digital.

Some photos just require minimal processing. For example: a RAW photo can almost always do with a little sharpening and boost in contrast. Sometimes, your vision may require maximum processing with much filtering and processing.

As in Working the Scene, you may not know what you will like best until you have Worked the Darkroom.

You saw my shots of the heavy machinery shots in the previous post. They were all exposed to the darkroom in that post, but in a basic way. So, I took my experimenting further.

One obvious way to experiment is by converting to monotone or duotone. In each case, I may end up preferring the original colour but not always. Colour versions of the first three images all appeared in my previous post.

I went off the charts a little with the next two photos. I don't have a fisheye lens, but I was able to produce a somewhat similar effect in Photoshop. (A more standard version also appeared in the previous post.)

In this second example, I went for more of a vintage look complete with lens flares. I did not include this two shot in the previous post.

Finally, just for giggles, I did an antique look. While I did it just for fun and for example, I quite like it and just might put it near the top of my preferences. You just never know until you try.

I know this might sound overly pedantic and as if I think I am any good at all of this stuff, but it's just a hobby. I don't mean to lecture anyone; I am just putting some of my practices to words. I don't claim that any of the photos from either post are any good. I'm just exploring and putting it out there for what it's worth. Which is probably not very much at all.

It's good idea to get out of the, Take one shot and make one final product frame of mind. Mind you, I still do that quite a lot, but sometimes I also like to slow down and experiment.

Edit: Oops, I almost forgot to include the diptych as yet another viable alternative. You've seen it before, but here it is again, just as a reminder because it fits with this post.


Country Gal said...

I think you did a wonderful job with both the photos and the post . Before digital I did have a Minolta 35mm camera and I did develop my own photos . I am so thankful for the digital as it is all easier and I photograph in raw then if need to be I do use a photo program to tweak or adjust my photos sometimes . I am no pro by any means and yes for me it is a hobby as well but a hobby I have loved for over 40 years . Whether one is an amature or pro there is always something new to learn about photography ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

ADRIAN said...

This is all good fun and much better than straight out of camera and such laziness.

Linda Kay said...

John, my hubby has gone to all digital now, and we never did have a darkroom. He is in a camera club where there are two ladies who still take photos and use darkrooms to develop the images.

Tabor said...

I have become addicted to 'fiddling' with photos using filters, contrast, gradients, etc. I do it for me, myself and I and I ALWAYS like praise, but do not look for it.

EG CameraGirl said...

Often I prefer the original photo but I certainly approve of playing with photos! I think it helps us photographers see things in a different way and one way to help us improve. People who think great photographers never play with their photos are delusional. Just saying. ;)

TexWisGirl said...

i think some folks can get heavy-handed with the editing and 'flourishes' they add, but others are just pure artists when it comes to processing photos. love the gritty ones you've shown.

Linda said...

I really like this series of photos.

Mara said...

Well, it might be just a hobby, but I always love your photos. You have an eye for detail and for the big picture.

Lorna Cunningham-Rushton said...

I used to work the dark room, but it's been a long time. For those who don't know me, consider this artistic license

Regenia said...

I totally agree with Mara.