The end result

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Tasmaster, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. Tasmaster

    Tasmaster TPF Noob!

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    So, i have a few pictures that range from interesting to amazing to my eyes, ready for PP. Most of them will need some tweaking to look as good as they can, from a minor contrast adjustment to some creative cropping and colour correction. My problem is, where do i stop?

    Sometimes "i just know" that this is it, i save the image and it is done. More often than not, i will end up with two or three versions and be unable to choose the definitive one (sometimes i create a markedly diferent version of a photo on purpose, like it and keep it too, but that's another case). The fact that i know the final photo will only look this way on my screen makes matters worse. Which edit is the one that i want to send to a friend to see, and which one do i delete?

    Professional work is easier in this regard; most of the time you are going for a specific look that is expected from you, be it your established style or your client's demand. A set of pictures have to keep the same colour balance and you know where they are going to be viewed or printed, and usually you know how the end result will look. You also have the ultimate decision-making assist tool: a deadline.

    My problem might be as simple as not having developed a style yet - or a few of them. When i am processing a photo i see many oportunities and directions it can go, and even if i like all of them i do want to end up with one photo (again, this is about basic adjustments, not dramatic artistic effects).


    When working on a photo for yourself, do you know from the start exactly how you want it to look like? Do you just call it done after a while (it looks good anyway and that's what matters)? I would guess that most beginners face this problem at a certain point, so how do you deal with it?
     
  2. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    Just to put your mind at ease ... Ansel Adams printed different versions from his original images - sometimes 30 or 40 years after he had done the original "definitive" interpretation.

    And I know at least one lesser photographer (me) who does just what you do - creating several versions of a file.

    I think the key is to put it aside for a few days or even a few weeks ... or months! When you come back to those variations after some time has passes, you'll know immediately which one is "right."

    Yeah, in pro work we don't have these problems. We just have to deliver. But our personal work is ... well, personal.

    As long as you're doing the basic adjustments in the correct order - cropping first, adjust Levels second ... and anything else after that - you're creating viable files that are ready and able for subtle - and sometimes dramatic - variations.

    From this experimentation and experience, your style will pretty much develop itself.

    Play ... and don't be too harsh on yourself. Creativity is supposed to be fun!
     
  3. Tasmaster

    Tasmaster TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply. Ansel Adams did that, eh? Who am i to demand more then! :mrgreen: (actually that's nonsense, if i think i can do better, i'll go for it - just don't hold your breath waiting!). No seriously, this helps with putting things in perspective.

    One thing that can be helpful is when i try to produce a bigger piece of work, eg a slideshow - this way i have a target, a couple of self-imposed restrictions/guidelines and that makes me produce photos that i considered "finished" for the sake of the project.

    Above all else, talking about this is good :).
     

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