Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Ask The Pros!
I’d suggest starting with magazines, as they are the best way to get your images seen by huge numbers of people—and drive people to your website. When I was starting out, one of my very first submissions actually was to Outdoor Photographer. I submitted a few landscape images along with an article about a local area and they published it a few months later. Getting published in a magazine is one of the best forms of marketing—and you get paid for it, as well. Many photo editors also will allow you to include your website address in the photo credit which is another great way to drive potential clients and those interested in your work to your website.
The answer is: It depends. Let me first address your initial statement. While it may seem that such manipulations are a recent trend, in fact, they’re not. Techniques such as cloning, contrast adjustments, even exposure blending, have been around for almost as long as photography itself. There’s also no good way to define the proverbial line. The amount of acceptable processing depends on characteristics of each individual image and on its intended use, whether journalistic or expressive.
To put your mind at ease, manipulation is never really a substitute for vision and good field technique. It takes a skillful hand to apply just enough processing for the image to be successful. Go too far, and you’ll likely offend your viewers’ sensibilities. Computer engineers use the term “GIGO” (garbage in, garbage out), which also applies in photography—no amount of processing can make a bad image good.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you can give out?
A. Take the time to become thoroughly skilled in the operation of both your photographic and image-editing equipment. By knowing the full range of their capabilities, you’ll be able to previsualize the possibilities inherent in any photographic situation. In the age of digital, capture and processing are completely interrelated. What you can do in the digital darkroom should be in your mind when you plan your shot. Ansel Adams said it like this: ìThe negative [the digital capture] is comparable to the composer’s score, and the print to its performance.î With a full complement of skills, you’ll have much greater freedom to apply your creative vision.
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