If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

About Me

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I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lessons in the Editing Evolution

I was visiting with a friend today about before and after editing photos.  It got me thinking about how much my photography and editing has evolved since I really got serious about this hobby.

My favorite photographer when I was starting out was Mackenzie Wheatley with Chubbyfoot Photography.  I loved how her images were so true to life and really told the story of whatever family she was working with.  I emailed her and asked questions about cameras and editing software because I wanted to take pictures of my family that captured moments like Mackenzie did.  Well, I got my hands on Lightroom and it all went crazy from there. 

I think one of the mistakes new photographers/editors make is that we get slider happy.  We figure out that we can do things like enhance certain colors, add clarity and sharpen pictures and we go crazy with it.  At least that is what I did.  And can I go ahead and say that I thought back then that it looked really good? :)  I have this picture from those days that haunts me.  Why? Well because I sent it out to about 300 of you in the form of Christmas card and printed it real big for my playroom.  Now every time I walk passed it I cringe and last week it came down.

Just in case you think I am exaggerating, I will go ahead and lay down my shame and share it with you here.  First pic is the SOOC original, 2nd pic is my frightening christmas card edit (apparently I had an affinity for yellow or yellow blindness), and the 3rd is more like what I would do today.

So why am I sharing my shame with you? Because I have learned several lessons through this evolution that I think are more worth sharing than my evidence.

Lesson #1. I will be slow to criticize other photographers and their choices.  None of us are perfect and certainly none of started out perfect.  If it weren't for a handful of mentors who encouraged me to improvement, I might still be editing my children to look like squash.

Lesson #2. I will never think that I have it all figured out or have this craft mastered.  Remember, I thought that middle picture looked good enough to send it out to 300 of my closest friends!

Lesson #3. I will remember that, in editing a picture, my personal goal is to help tell the story of my image and then to correct any mistakes of the capture.  It is NOT to draw attention to my edits.

So today I would say I have come full circle and my images are looking more and more natural.  A friend of mine said of Mackenzie at Chubbyfoot once that she barely edits her images.  Looking back I think that was an incredible compliment.  I know Mackenzie takes great pride in the editing of her images, but when you see them you see flawlessness not over enhancement and that is the way it should be.  And that is what I aspire to be. 


Holly S. said...

Love this blog post, Ginny. You're so real. I love that about you. I'm so guilty of being slider happy and preset happy, but I'm so thankful that you encouraged me to get Lightroom.

Anonymous said...

could not agree more - as a color blind photog - overcorrections stand out to me - particularly the increase or lack of contrast, etc - like most callings - it is a lifelong learning experience - your stuff is really great - love pop

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