A common question I often get asked is do you edit your photos?, or as everyone is prone to saying do you "Photoshop" your images. Well put simply, damn right I do!! :-). Photo editing is a big part of photography and its where you can bring the vision you saw on location to life. Cameras these days are hugely powerful tools capable of capturing vast amount of detail in a photograph, but the one thing they can't do is mimic the human eye. That beautiful sunset or sunrise can quite often look too dull or too bright after you've taken the photo, those autumnal colours may not look quite as vibrant as you remember, there may be some distracting element in the scene that you may want to remove etc...
As a landscape photographer you have to be aware of this and try get it as right 'in camera' as much as possible. For me personally, my main focus is generally on composing the scene to make it as appealing to the eye as possible and to get my balance of lights and darks as good as I can given the conditions. I never approach a shot with the mindset that I can fix it on the computer later. Simple adjustments by myself such as moving around, shooting from a higher or lower position, zooming in/out can all help to get it right in camera as much as possible.
Hopefully once I have my images downloaded to the computer, all I have left to do is adjust some brightness, contrast or slight color boost. I guess the big trick, is knowing when to stop processing an image.
Ultimately the only thing that really counts is the final image. Feel free to leave your comments I'd love to hear from you!
I organise my photos on my PC by year and create a new folder at the start of the year and then create subfolders for each shoot. But it was only when I had come back from photographing some daisies in a nearby field and went to upload them to my PC it hit me that I actually had no folder for 2016 and it was June!
Ok, so I haven't actually given up completely but seeing a blank folder for 2016 made me think I has switched off altogether! Its a been a busy year on the home front with lots of projects around the house, so I've made them a priority since the start of the year, and as a result photography has taken a back seat.
I've started keeping a notebook of locations that I've come across and areas I've scouted so now at least I have a list staring back at me! I guess the biggest problem with photography is timing, the ideal location may not have the ideal weather or lighting. Also certain locations look better at different times of the year. So when I get the chance to go on a shoot it may not be the right time!
But in saying all that I realised that I constantly go back to my iPhone and keep my Instagram and Facebook updated regularly.
Anyway after typing this blog entry I hope to start filling up my 2016 folder!
Into the Woods, I wasn't a fan of the movie, but it did inspire me to take a trip down to Jenkinstown woods in Kilkenny last week. It was a very calm cold day with lots of fog still lingering around; it was one of those days where you couldn't really tell what time of the day it was. Arriving in the car park I could see I had the place to myself.
I had a few particular shots in mind, so I headed to a location where I thought I could get them. It was more than a year since I had been to this location; I noticed a lot of trees had been cleared out, which in some respects helped me see the wood from the tree so to speak!
Photography aside it was wonderful to be alone in the woods, surrounded by silence only interrupted by the occasional bird singing, rustling of bushes or water dropping from the branches
Due to the (non-existent) lighting conditions, dark and moody was the order of the day, so here are some of my photos from the day, hope you enjoy them and feel free to leave some comments.
Someone remarked to me about a previously blog post where I put up my favourite photo of last year and that it was taken with my iPhone and did I regret not having my big pro camera with me at the time. Well I suppose there are 2 points in what he said, firstly it was his surprise that is wasn't taken with a proper camera and secondly why did I not have my DSLR with me.
As much as I like having my camera with me and snapping away, I hate to be burdened down with heavy equipment when I'm just out on a casual walk. When I have my 'big' camera I almost feel compelled to take a great shot and sometimes (in fact a lot of the time!) it's nice to enjoy the environment and stop and 'smell the roses'. Did you ever notice how people become very self conscious when a big camera is pointed at them but if you hold up your smartphone you nearly always get a reaction.
So do I regret not having my camera with me? Well a small bit of me does because I could get a larger print if I wanted, but on the whole I have no regrets, I got a shot that I love and I did get it printed. Without having a a device with me capable of taking a photo I would haven't captured any memory of that morning. There was no stopping, posing, looking at the camera, forced smiles, I just picked up my phone and captured a moment...
As a photographer (or indeed Artist, Sculptor and any Crafts person) it's always nice to see your work on display. Currently I have this photo on display in the corridors of St Luke's Hospital Kilkenny. It's part of a display of craft work by staff who work in the health sector, it's always interesting to see the hidden talents of people you work with. Plus you can never truly appreciate a photograph until it has been printed and framed.
The actual photo on display is a photograph of Clara Church, Kilkenny, It's a scene I pass by every morning and evening going to and from my day job. So I made a concerted effort to go and photograph it after I seen the way the crops in the field has faded and there was some lovely cloud detail in the sky.