Easing into Photoshop
If you’ve stopped by Life Refocused before, you probably know that I’m a “straight out of the camera” (SOOC) photographer. Almost every blog entry is tagged “SOOC” as approximately 99.9% of the images I’ve shared up to this point have been completely unedited. Over the past few years, I’ve been really working on honing my photography “in camera,” trying to capture what I want for the composition, white balance, depth of field, and anything else about the image right then and there. And, I believe working in this way has improved my skills as a photographer.
Just because I have been working in this way doesn’t mean that I’m a hater of Photoshop. It just wasn’t yet part of my photography toolkit — by choice. And I knew there would come a time when I would start easing into it, and that time seems to be now. I am also well aware that Photoshop isn’t simply a magic wand (although there is a “magic wand” tool!). That is, you must have a strong image to begin with in order to make improvements or adjustments in Photoshop. As well, Photoshop can help but it takes a great deal of skill and creativity with the software to know how to improve an image.
I’ve begun dipping my toe in the Photoshop pool as part of taking Tracey Clark’s Art of Composition class. One recent exercise included examining a photo for possible additional photos within that image. Kind of like a training exercise for your eye to see mini-compositions within an already existing image.
I decided to use the top photo that I shot a few months ago while driving around the back roads here in the Midwest. Then I looked for little images that I liked within that photo, and cropped those out. These three smaller images are some of those mini-photos.
It’s a very interesting exercise. I can already see the ways in which it’s helping me both widen and narrow my frame as I have been out shooting as well as looking back through previous photographs. Here is a compilation of all three cropped vignettes and the original photo.
I’m enjoying this easing into Photoshop. It remains to be seen how much I’ll fall down this potential rabbit hole, but for now, it’s fun to use editing as a tool to improve my photography and the way I compose images in the big picture.
What about you? Do you use Photoshop or some other photo-editing program? What do you typically edit in your images? PS–other than cropping parts of the original photograph, nothing has been edited in any of these images.