The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
Photography – my journey

A friend in the internet wrote a post yesterday about post-processing, or the fine art of tweaking your photographs using a program such as Photoshop. She asked the question Old School or New School and this got me thinking. I have mentioned previously that I rediscovered photoshop after doing a refresher course at the end of last year and I spent a lot of time over the next few weeks fiddling with my holiday photos and spending hours working on a photo only to come to the conclusion that the original was actually just fine as it was. My problem seemed to be that I didn’t know where to stop and would take a good photo and turn it into a monstrosity!

(actually the final version doesn’t look too bad when its shown small like this, but trust me, any bigger and you can see the error in my ways!)
I have always considered myself to be Old School but-willing-to-learn because my background is in photo journalism. I was inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson, the father of photojournalism who famously said “there is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment.” I was taught to take photos the old fashioned way, cropping in-camera and never making mistakes with aperture or exposure in order to ensure that you “got” the image. There are no second chances in photo journalism. I think photography was a lot easier for me then. I had a simple Pentax K1000 SLR and I mostly shot B&W so I could process the negatives and print the photographs myself. But photography had been a passion for me long before I studied it at university and so I sometimes felt constrained by the ethics and rules associated with photojournalism and then suddenly I would find myself processing roll after roll of film filled with abstract yet strangely artistic shots of plants or my growing passion, bands and the musicians that made them up.
After I had finished my Journalism degree I stayed on to study Fine Art Photography under the notorius tutorship of Obie Oberholzer who opened my eyes to the more artistic realm of photography where creating the right components for a brilliant photograph can take hours not seconds to shoot. This went against everything I had learnt during my photojournalism days. I learnt more that year than I ever expected to and I am proud that some of the images I shot for my end of year portfolio still hang on the walls of my home to this day. I created art that I was passionate about then but still love now! The move into photography as art meant my previously rigid ideals and ethics were compromised and so I started to move towards New School.
Where do I stand now? Definitely somewhere in the middle. I don’t have the time or the patience to spend hours creating a photograph, although ironically I will spend hours after I have taken the picture, making it into something better, or at least attempting to. The one thing that has remained constant is my passion for photography in all its incarnations and now that I have my muse, Amy, I feel inspired on a completely different level. So why am I still so insecure about my photographs? Thats something to investigate on another day!
I promised to show the before and after from the bubble photos I took on the weekend. On the left is the original, the sky is over-exposed, the figures are dark and you can’t see the bubble that everyone is focused on. Some auto adjustments in photoshop (because I am lazy) and a fiddle with the Shadow/Highlights and the finished result on the right. I didn’t crop this photo and I think it works like this. I was thrilled with the results!
Photography is something I will always have time for in my life. I treasure photos as precious memories of events and find that I am able to recall things that have happened in my life more clearly when looking at the photos I have taken. I know that I sometimes fail to live in the moment because I am too busy looking at the world through my lens, but I believe its a small price to pay for the precious memories I am creating.
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