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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
Welcome to another creative tip. In this chapter we have been talking about how we can use the Adobe Bridge and we have been talking about how we can rate and rank and sort and filter our photographs. One of the things that's kind of interesting regards to editing your photographs is it's the one commonality that all of these photographers share. We all have to know how to find those keepers. How to sort through the rubble and find the gem. We have to figure out how we can discard files and how we can then keep files and which ones are which. It was Igor Stravinsky, the classical composer who said, "To know how to discard, as the gambler says, that is a great technique of selection." And that is really one of the items that separates a good photographer from a great photographer. If you look at an amateur per se, they don't know how to edit, right? They don't know how to determine which image is best. There really is an art and a craft to editing, and a lot of times what happens to the amateurs is they just get a little bit overwhelmed. Well, pros get overwhelmed as well, but they can somehow handle the stress better, right? That's what makes a pro a pro. They can deal with the pressure. They can handle that and see through all of that, because here's what happens. You shoot some photos, let's say up here in the mountains, and you are thinking, oh, this is so beautiful. It's completely still. I can see some birds flying, I can hear crickets chirping, it's just stunning.
So I captured a few images, but then I go back and I open them up in the Adobe Bridge. Yet as you look at them, you're just devastated. Oh, that one is not very good. That one is not very good, and the photos don't capture your experience of the event. They are not quite good enough and you keep seeing these photos that aren't good. Then you see one that's good, but you are not really sure of it. Why? Well, because you have seen photos aren't very good, maybe they are bad and then it's kind of hard to find the keeper. Or then maybe you say, hey, these were the keepers, but then you remember all those bad photos, you think, hey, those bad photos invalidate these good photos.
I don't really know what I'm doing. These aren't very good. But what you have to do is say, okay, yeah that image is not really good. It didn't quite capture my experience. Okay fine, but I'm going to find something here, I'm going to search for that image. I'm going to keep looking; I'm going to keep digging. I have to know how to discard and then typically what you want to do is you start with this big mass of images, and then you edit that down and then you edit it down and then you edit it down, and by the time you begin this editing processing, narrowing and narrowing you selection, you come up with let's say ten keepers, then you are like, wow! Those keepers are really good. Yet what happens to the amateur is they say, yeah, those were good. But the other 40, they weren't very good.
Therefore, that kind of invalidates these ten. Well, no way! That doesn't invalidate those. You have to have that vision. You have to have that kind of strength of character to see beyond the images that perhaps aren't so good. Keep in mind, this is the same thing that's true in most arts or anything that's a craft. Let's say woodwork for example. You start up with this rough wood, it's really rough. Then you use rough sand paper, and then smoother sand paper, and smoother san paper, until slowly, this finish is just perfect. It's just so nice and smooth, you can see the grain of the wood, and it looks amazing.
And I had to have that vision, knowing that it's about the process, it's about making something better slowly and progressively. And that's the difference between the amateur and the Pro. So if you want to make you images better, if you want to get better the art and craft, the photography, spend more time editing and spend more time consciously editing, thinking about the process and thinking, okay, I'm going to have strong character here. I'm not going to let this discourage me. I'm going to focus in on the keepers and I'm going to find those keepers. And one of things that I think you will discover is that as you get better at editing, you will all the sudden become a better photographer.
Now did you actually become a better photograph? Well, I don't really know. Perhaps it's just you learned how to find and discover those photographs and then that taught you how to actually shoot, because the next time you came up to the mountains and you are looking around, you would start to begin to identify what was the potential keeper, because you are thinking through that whole process. All right, well, that wraps up this little creative tip. I hope that it was a bit of inspiration and help for you. I look forward to catching you in the next creative tip movie. Bye for now!
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