I’ve been busy with toning and finishing up my Diffusion submission, but I wandered over to my neighbor’s flowerbed a few days ago. She doesn’t spend much time gardening that I can tell – this flowerbed is full of perennials that do their thing every summer, rarely asking for attention. It’s most generous of her though – this long flowerbed borders the sidewalk so that everyone walking past can enjoy the flowers. Our quiet neighborhood has a lot of walkers, skateboarders, kids on bikes, and so on.
It’s far too easy for me to get caught up in the emotional or fine art aspect of what I’m working on and I forget that I need to be out there taking pictures. I rarely take a great picture the first time – usually I go through a lot before I find one that yells “This is a good one! Keep it!” As funny as that sounds, that’s usually what happens when I’m self-editing – one or two pictures will just jump out as the strongest. It’s taken a while to trust that inner voice, but it’s usually right. Usually. And that doesn’t mean that most of my pictures are bad – just that I’m super picky and want only the best and the strongest. I don’t want good pictures, I want great pictures.
I’m so used to shooting black and white images I’ve started to think, as it were, in black and white. Instead of looking at what I’m seeing, I’m envisioning how values will translate to monochrome images. Out wandering around the neighborhood with my camera reminds me just how vibrant life is and how color images help capture that. It’s times like these that I really do love my digital camera even more – trying to get a color image to print the way you remember it off of film was an exercise in frustration. I vividly remember sending some family photos to a cheap drugstore printer – and having them come back extremely green tinted. ICC color profiles are a wonder of the digital age.
That said, my digital camera’s auto white balance meter is a tad squiffy. Maybe it’s normal to have to fidget with the controls, but it seems to always pick the daylight setting even in what’s clearly not daylight. I could manually set it for each picture, but RAW files allow me to not fuss over it and fix things later. I’m in love with RAW files – my previous cheap little digital camera could capture them, but I didn’t have a program that could open them, or even convert to TIFF. TIFF always – JPG files are the bane of my life.