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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. A friend of mine who is a photographer went out to lunch in Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, and he was out to lunch with a friend and they were enjoying their lunch, and the chef came out and said, oh, I love your photography. He had heard that this guy was there and came to just kind of share with him how he enjoyed his photography. He was going on and on about how he loved his work and everything and the chef then said, you know just by way of interest, what kind of camera do you use? And my friend said, well, you know, I actually have it with me and he pulled his camera out of the bag.
When he pulled his camera out of the bag, it was a really nice camera of course and the chef said, Oh! No wonder you take such amazing photos. And the guy didn't really know what to say, but he pissed him off and this guy has a bit of an ego. Let's just say that. So then, their interaction was wrapped up and the chef went back to the kitchen and they finished up their lunch. And after the lunch, the photographer went back in the kitchen and said to the chef, Oh! That lunch was just amazing. The food was exquisite, it was so good. He said, by way of just interest, what kind of pots and pans do you use? And the chef was kind of taken back, and he was like, well, you know whatever the brand name was. He said, oh, this brand. He said, no wonder the food was so good! And then he just walked away and left the scene.
It's kind of funny because what happens a lot of times in photography is that we think that the gear is the answer, that somehow the gear equals good results. Now, any of us who have bought good gear know that that definitely isn't true because you get the nice camera, then you take these pictures and you take really bad pictures with really expensive gear and you learn that somehow the gear isn't the answer and that you begin to have a little bit of a love-hate relationship with your gear that the gear is wonderful yet it's not everything.
That complexity of the relationship is kind of intriguing, it's kind of interesting. And if you want to be a good photographer, we have to do a somehow see beyond your gear or get over your gear, realize whatever you have, it's good enough because it's all you have. Otherwise, when you are shooting, you are thinking, Oh! You know, I can't get the shot because I don't have the right lens, or Oh! I can't get the shot because I don't have a high enough mega-pixel sensor. That doesn't really matter, right. So you can see beyond the scene at hand. So why am I then talking about that here? Well one, it's kind of interesting just in regards to photography and then two, it's really interesting in regards to how we work on images and also how we begin to think about images, and actually create those images.
For example, let's say we are going to convert to black and white. When you are shooting, you actually have to see beyond color, and color is pretty distracting because it's so amazing, right? You see these bright, vivid colors. And so the colors become really interesting to you, so when you are framing that shot, you are actually focusing in on the colors, you have to see beyond that scene. What I'm looking as the contrast and the brightness values, that are going to then make a good black and white conversion, or perhaps photographically, it means something like this. Let's say you are taking a portrait of someone you really respect or admire or they are really handsome or maybe they are even a celebrity, right? So what you are doing is you are framing the shot and you are looking at their eyes, and you are like, Oh! Wow, I'm photographing this particular celebrity, and you are zeroed and you are locked-in on their eyes. Yet, that's not going to make a good photograph because you are focusing-in on one small element; you have to somehow see beyond that.
So in beginning of photography classes, they teach you this. You look at your subject matter, and let's say you look at the person's eyes that you respect, but then you look around the frame. You travel around the frame. You make sure there isn't a pole sticking out of their head in the background, or some distracting element, a brightness value over here that's going to detract away from the image. So one of the things that I hope that you take away from my little creative tip is, one, that your gear is good enough, and when you are shooting, you are shooting with whatever gear, whether it's a point and shoot camera or perhaps an old-fashioned camera, or a film camera, or a high-end digital camera, that it really doesn't matter. That whatever you have, it's good enough.
That good photographers, and photographers for a long time have been making amazing images. Look at any of the great photographers from earlier in the 20th century, and they were amazing, yet they were captured with really simple cameras, basically a box with a shutter on it. Yet Ansel Adams use those large format cameras to create images that today are still really good. So you have a gear, its good enough. Then, in addition, when you are starting to shoot let's say create black and white images as we are talking about in this chapter, that when you actually are capturing those, you are seeing beyond the color, and even more when you are shooting other subjects, you are looking at the subject, but then you are looking around the frame, and somehow by getting over the stuff that's most interesting to get into the other details, you can then create a photograph that's really interesting.
All right, well, that wraps up this little creative tip. I hope that it was helpful and maybe even a little bit inspirational. Thanks for watching it, bye for now.
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