When you look at the early stages of someone's photography, you can see the excitement on their face and in their work, the sudden discovery of being able to capture an image that is clear and vibrant.
As often is the case, we also discover tools at our disposal, like plug-ins and pre-sets so that you can enhance and increase the appearance of an image. All sorts of things are available to the photographer, and you can make the image whatever you want.
The question is, I guess, what do you want to do with that image?
One can find that you can take any image and you can play with it in so many ways, you now have tools to do so many funky things to it, and transform it even further from its original state.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against using these tools to bring an image to a point where you want it to be, but you have to be careful not to go so far as to detract from the actual image, and end up looking at something other than what you had originally intended.
In some cases, images are so saturated that it looks like an advertising commercial for colour coatings and paints. The senses get bombarded with super saturated colour and crazy effects, colour that, while they are very rich, are more inclined to detract from the image rather than enhance it.
Of course one could argue, that it's entirely up to the individual taste, to which I would agree, but - and there is always a but - if the majority of images out there are all producing the same hues and saturation, what is so different with what you just produced?
Trends are something that we humans often follow, because we don't want to feel left out. I mean not so long ago bell bottoms were the thing; today they are not.
Photography is no different, but you need to be different and show who you are and what you see, as opposed to what the current flavour is. The point I'm trying to make is, try something different.
I often hear things like, everyone who owns an SLR thinks he is a photographer today. I have even heard it said, it sucks these days, too many cameras out there, and everyone is doing photography and under cutting us pros. Really!
Whoa Nelly, let's take a look-see now.
Don't take my word for it, but do your own research. Look around you and see what is being shot, and how it's being done. What is so similar and what is so different. You might find that there is a lot more in common than there are differences. The fact that we are creatures of habit will often trip us up.
We do end up doing the same old, same old. Besides, it's a lot safer, and it's consistent. Good product every time, no matter what, it's kind of like eating at McDonalds, the same thing consistently no matter where and what or when.
I'm going throw out a challenge for everyone out there, no matter where you are in your photography skills. Take a look, no limitations at all, the world is your oyster as they say. I want you to look and research photographers and images of any kind, see the ones you like and make notes why, and then see what the similarities are.
Look at the colours used, poses, styles, and anything else that catches your fancy. When you're done, see what you and maybe so many others have in common, perhaps even how far you really are from the mainstream as it were.
There is no right or wrong; it's an opportunity to exercise that very important part of all your gear: the eye, or more appropriately, your photographer's eye.
No Pics to post for you on this blog entry, but I would love to hear what you discover. After all, we learn from each other, and I am no different that way. I love being shown new stuff, too.
I'm looking forward to hearing what you all find out and come up with.
Chuck Swinden is a professional photographer and photography instructor at Rodenas Photography. For more information, visit www.rodenasphotography.com.