The Process- When I am creating my art, it isn’t as simple as pointing and shooting. First, of course, I have to find the art. Once I find it, I need to determine how my vision is going to work with what I have found and it’s surroundings. Then, there are the technical considerations. Shutter speed, f-stop, what to focus on, whether to use flash or not and format. Do I want it to be color, black and white, HDR, or a combination of two or more? Once I’ve figured that out, then I get to take some pictures.
I almost never take just one picture of a subject. In the contact sheet for the photograph “What Light Through Yonder Window” that accompanies this article, there are twelve images. I actually shot fourteen, but left two of them out for symmetry reasons. The only camera setting I changed for any of the shots was shutter speed. In some, I physically moved the camera and tripod an inch or two, and in others I either moved the flash or the angle of the flash slightly. The slightest alterations can make the difference between a photo that I will edit and publish versus one that will never be seen again.
Once I find the image that I want, I do some simple editing in Photoshop CS5. I shoot in NEF (Nikon’s version of RAW) so that I have complete control over the photo. I will correct the white balance, if needed (I always leave the camera in auto white balance, even though it’s not exact). I do some adjustments to the saturation and vibrance of the shot, and very often I will also decrease the saturation of the green, especially for shots taken in the summertime. Once I have finished that, I will save it as an uncompressed TIF file, so that I retain all the information. Every time that you make a change to a JPG and save, it compresses itself again, leading to a loss of information each time you save.
Now that I have my archive image to work from, I create a JPG that I crop to 8X10, place my copyright watermark on it and post to facebook, flickr, tumblr and my shop on etsy. I also create a smaller JPG to add to my website. During the editing process I am usually working on a title for the piece. I try to incoporate a little humor whenever I can.
I truly enjoy sharing my art and seeing the comments people leave. Feel free to download any of the images that I post to use as wallpaper or as your desktop.