Sunday 5.10.09 Part 2

Smoke and Mirrors and my Favorite Model.

A couple of random thoughts as I edit some images, go through my workflow and recall some of my shoots…

To make complicated things more simple is generally my way of thinking. Perhaps that is because there are a lot of things that I just don’t completely understand. There are plenty of people who can back me up on that statement… just start with my kids and go from there.

The most simple answer and question at the same time is: “What can I do to make this better?”

That is where it starts and where it ends and where it starts again. It is never ending and sometimes I arrive at a point where I simply settle for the best it is, and figure that means for the moment. Things can always be changed.

Knowing a few things about the elements of an image is a good place to start. Lighting, composition, camera settings all play into this. Themes, reasons to produce one thing or another are always evolving. Things that make complete sense to me right now may look ridiculous to me when I look back on something in the future. Ah, but that’s the way it always goes. Creating something that is interesting and/or pleasant to look at is always the goal. Add to that some kind of timelessness and everything should probably work.

So… I retouch. I attempt to create a mood or more of a mood out of something I have already created. Take an original unretouched image and look it over… what can I do to change this image to make it even better. Does it need much? Did I capture everything possible right out of the camera? Usually not entirely. In comes the smoke and mirrors. Photoshop. I’ll enhance an image in some way. I’ll smooth skin, fix the lighting, play with the colors, mess with the bokeh. I do all of this in my own attempt to direct the viewer in visual fashion though the image – perhaps the way I think they should see things. That is part of what I try to do.

Then, when I get to a point where I think I am done, I have to ask myself if I have created a complete mess or if there is some way to make it even better. Sometimes you just let it go, sometimes you go back to it again. There will always be new and improved smoke and mirrors available. Or, maybe I’ll have a better understanding on how to use them at some point down the road.

Smoke, Mirrors and Trinity

My Favorite Model.

I do not know how it is for other photographers, I can only assume that what I am about to say is fairly standard. Every model is my favorite model. What?

Sure, I probably have a few people that I work with more or better than others. There are some out there that I have worked with that I know I could have done a better job with, but for some reason just did not get it, see it, find it… something.

But… after a shoot is over and we’ve gone around the room looking for random things like cell phones, keys, panties and other left overs I come in here and start to look through images. I start to make some selections on what looks good, why it looks good. I look at things that somehow speak to me like the pose, eye contact or no eye contact, lighting, clarity and such. This model now has my complete and undivided attention. He or she is magnificent. It is just that way. I’m looking at skin and hair, eyes and lips. I’m thinking that there are some things I am going to fix a little but for the most part, this human is the best person I have ever looked at. And I’ll feel the same way about the next person I shoot too. This probably does not make sense to some people.

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