However, when it comes to photography, we can actually tell a great story with just two elements: the characters and the setting. Since our medium is a visual one, each image we create needs to have those two key integral components and the audience does the rest.
With Adobe’s hidden secret in Camera Raw we are given the ability to create Custom Profiles. Get started by opening an image in Photoshop, and apply adjustment layers or a few actions.
Although you can simply take any color image and convert it to grayscale, I get the best results if I walk into a shoot knowing the final outcome will be black & white. I allow this to dictate my lighting and color choices, which translate into shades of gray and tonality. It’s crucial to understand what would work better in black & white or color, and this is something that can be mastered with practice.
Whether you are an expert or fear all things tech, upgrading your computer’s operating system and applications is a must. Of course, many experts will advise against upgrading to the latest version as there are always bugs.
When I’m planning a shoot and I’ve decided it would make a good black & white image, I start thinking about the background colors and wardrobe that will affect the final product.
Backdrops usually aren’t cheap. Good ones definitely aren’t. The costs can really go uphill if you’re adding several colors and styles to your arsenal. You’re gonna need something dark, and something bright! Maybe something with a floral pattern, and of course one with an old masters pattern.
We often use black & white photography as a method for focusing on the emotion in an image. In fact, there are only two reasons that we will convert an image to black & white. Both have to do with eliminating distractions.
When it comes to portraits of children, we all struggle to balance capturing their energy and personality while getting in-focus images. Not to mention ones with kids with eyes open, looking and smiling at the camera. Of course, the parents are going to love almost every image, and this makes the photographer’s job easy, right? Well, you need to get the safe image they expect with their kids somewhat facing the camera, eyes open, and smiling. That moment isn’t easy to capture in one shot, so what we are going to create is the perfect portrait by swapping heads in Photoshop. Doing a bit of Photoshop does not mean you aren’t a good photographer. We can only control so much and are still required to deliver a somewhat perfect portrait.
When it comes to using multiple camera models and manufacturers, images photographed in the same place and time look different. As photographers, we focus on controlling this variance of brightness and color of light in a multitude of ways. Whether that’s using Auto, Priority Modes, or Manual settings in-camera, we constantly worry how this will look on the computer screen as well as images side by side. Regarding exposure specifically, we have standardized ways to keep this in check in-camera using blown highlight preview mode or showing the histogram on the display screen while shooting. Color consistency between multiple cameras is a whole other monster.
When it comes to traveling and personal photography, I like to edit and share my images on the fly. This means I'm not waiting to connect to my RAID storage drive at home before I can get started on my images. I want to quickly ingest memory cards, save Raw files to a fast external drive, and add my photos to Lightroom. Lightroom Classic is typically my go-to for photo gigs, however, in this case I want to be mobile and share edits fast. This is when I use Lightroom CC. I can truly travel light for post-production and have the ability to edit from my phone.