From the first time I held a camera I had an interest in photography and by no means claim to be a professional. My photos capture life around me—for the most part they are simple snapshots right out my backdoor or during my endless walks. And I can’t count the times I’ve pulled the car over for a sunset, sunrise, flower, tree, sky, or clouds. I see beauty in every detail, no matter the season. And my soul comes away refreshed.
My first real camera was a 35mm Pentax K1000, an excellent camera. When I got my first digital camera (Fuji Fine Pix) I went kind of crazy, like everyone else, dumping tons of photos on my computer. I did burn all to CD’s. I pity my poor children who may (or may not) sift through them for the best.
Then I learned image editing and went super crazy. Every detail on a poor photograph was disguised. I no longer paid attention to lighting, ISO, f-stop, aperture, shutter speed, even composition. No need to. The software did it all. After awhile I found I spent more time on image editing than taking good pictures.
Then I got a DSLR. Or rather, my son did. But I nab it from him constantly and he is generous enough to let me tuck it in a cozy, safe place in my hutch, easy for both of us to grab in an instant. It’s a Nikon D60 with the wonderful Nikko 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G lens. Awesome camera.
And enter Stephanie Goddard—a young, self-taught photographer who is a rare talent and a woman of artistry combined with technique. I spent three wonderful hours with her one afternoon learning the finer points of DSLR and she reminded me I would save precious time and become a better photographer if I took the right picture to begin with.
Then it hit me. I needed to return to my roots of taking a few moments to get the right settings and composition. Stephanie says, “Take the right picture first. Why spend all that time in the software when you could be out taking pictures?” Another tip—take lots of pictures but delete all the bad photos off the camera first. At a typical sporting event, Stephanie takes about 300 pictures. She then quickly deletes and gets about 20 really great shots.
And so, with exception to a few older edited pictures, as of April 29 this year beginning with the Weekly Photo Challenge theme of “Up”, all the photos on SimplySage are what I term “organic”. Meaning—
With exception of occasional rotation and maybe a minimal crop there is no editing of color, contrast, anything. If I don’t get it right the first time I don’t use it. The only other tool I will use, and on rare occasion is the built-in “enhance” tool on an iPhone. But that will be only to make the picture look more like it actually looked.
Note: I am not saying there is no place for image editing. It is quite artistic and I enjoy what I see. It’s just not for me anymore because it makes me too dependent and work less at taking good photographs. I’m glad to have it if I really need it but am going to first and foremost make every attempt to take the right photo first.
I’m sure enjoying more time to study and learn about photography as well as take pictures. And I hope you’ll enjoy the results!