Be More Creative: So you got the EXPOSURE right but the Image is Over Processed And Boring
First don’t be thrown off by the title and think I am ripping this photographer to shreds or trying to put them down. The facts are that their exposures seem to be pretty good which is a large part of photography. Where they fall short is in the subject matter and post processing.
You have to remember that just getting the exposure correct is not enough to make the image interesting. Just like processing alone can’t save an image that is out of focus or not interesting at all. It’s a combination of many things that make your images stand out.
When I selected this set to discuss I did not know it would go in the direction it would. I rarely know what my feelings are going to be before I sit down and record the videos. I think it’s best that I don’t study the images to heavily before I critique the images.
Like with most sets there are generally two to three images that I would consider solid all the way around. And I can pretty much guarantee that if the photographer was to come back to me in a few months with another 10 images that they would have taken some of the feedback I had given to make the set stronger.
There was a trend in this set where the images were just slightly off visually. What I mean by that is technically they may have been good but the subject matter was pretty boring and lacked creativity. The honest feeling is that they were snap shots more than photographs. Before I jump into what you can do to be more creative or to build a cohesive photo story let’s talk about the processing.
I noticed in a few images that there looked to be a lot of noise and grain though the ISO was at 100 or 200. This just should not be happening. There is no reason at such a low ISO that noise and grain should even play a part. What I think was going on was to much post processing to try and bring out certain parts of the image. So where I said the exposures were pretty spot on above, maybe they were close but the photographer wanted to brighten up or recover other areas.
When you start to play with the shadows slider to bring back some of those dark areas you start to bring out more noise in the image. When you develop for the sky and process for the darker parts of the image your sky may look fine but the main part of the image may not. The moral here is you have to be very careful with your processing. If you see that you are correcting a stop or more for a part of an image you have to ask, am I introducing more noise or grain into the image.
Yes I know that I make my images go BOOM and some people thing I take it to far. Like with anything, this is my personal preference and I encourage you to find what works best for you. I think more times than not you will notice that being heavy handed with your processing will bring out imperfections of your image.
Now lets talk about being more creative. Though I only saw ten images in this set, that is all I have to go on from this photographer. When you look at the first image and have a wall with a sticker on it and a cool background of Cologne Germany blown out of focus, I didn’t find it to interesting.
What could make this set better is creating a photo story starting with that first image and building it from there. We know they are in a city as we see it out of focus in the background. We have a church, a bridge, a wall and now you have to tell the story. Take detailed shots of the bridge from the locks which are placed all the way across it to the beams and steel used to build it. Capture a wide city scape than move on to shooting the church. Shoot the inside, outside, wide, details and everything you can think of.
It is all about building a story with images so that you go from one image to the next and feel like all the bases were covered. Of course building a photo story for a set is my personal preference but I encourage you to at least try it and see if it helps you capture better images. Even if you never show most of the images and you come back with a solid keeper than the photo story helped you out.
Be creative, don’t be heavy handed with your edits and if you notice that you are seeing noise and grain at 100 ISO you may want to start the edits all over again.