|The Wood - Tim Irving|
Over the years I've seriously looked at hundreds of thousands of photographs. It's what I do to improve my own work and I love looking. After you've looked at good range of photos over many years, you realise that the most appealing photographs are a combination of a talented photographer and a great printer.
Make no mistake, all of your old favourites by Ansel Adams, Cartier Bresson and the rest, will have been cropped, dodged, burned, toned, spotted and had their contrast adjusted to get the best image out of the negative. Except for amateurs, who pick up their prints from the chemist, there are very few 'Straight Prints'.
So the first step in creating a great photograph is finding it, on the negative. If you're using digital, the same principle applies, you need to find the photograph, it's hidden on your screen. Carefully look at your image, consider how it could be improved. Look carefully, is there a picture within your picture? Then isolate the important part by cropping. Is it too light or dark? Does it need more contrast, or less? Colour or monochrome? Warm or cool? I could go on.
By sorting the wood from the trees, it's possible to make a silk purse from a sows ear. I found the wood above, in the trees, below.
|The Trees - Tim Irving|