For the last month I’ve taken on a project that I initially started in 2008 when we traveled around the US with our camper. Every time we stopped for the night I took out the GPS unit and entered “place of worship” in the search criteria. I then selected the one closest to our location and drove to it, where I took a series of photos. My intent was to create something from that series. Every time I attempted to use the images I was disappointed with the results.
The images were documentation of the places. Some of them were decent but most left me unimpressed. It was less about the technical quality of the shots or even the perspective, and more about the fact that none of them really expressed any sense of the places. So during November I started to work through the images using some of the new tools I’ve been working with.
I’ve developed a little deeper sense of control in my edits. Where I had used filters and overlays on the whole image (mostly) I started using layers more extensively. I segment the images into areas that can benefit from different treatments, then lay them back together and blend them with different modes. Overall I’m happy with the results as they deliver more of a personality to each of the churches.
At the same time I’ve learned a lot about the controls I’m trying to use, though I still have plenty of learning and experimenting to do. But using the different effects on different areas has made a difference in my ability to evoke a sense of each place.
As always I understand that the edits I make are personal to me and don’t please everyone. I still struggle to find an audience, but I’m less concerned with ‘likes and clicks’ than I am with being able to develop my own skills and to find a mode of expression that suits me.
Though I have plenty of church pictures to draw from, I still managed to edit some other images in November. I have a fair number of flower pictures, most of which were shot on my lightbox.
And at the end of the month I started recording (some of) my edit sessions as screencasts. I’ll continue this for 2 reasons: 1-they may be of use to someone who wonders ‘how did he do that’, and 2-the process makes me think about what I’m doing just a bit more analytically.
I’m still not happy with the level of understanding I have over the tools, and I want to expand the variety of editing that I do. In some cases I see myself falling back on similar tools, making the images too similar for my liking. I don’t believe that I’ll ever develop a particular ‘style’, but I do notice that overall I tend to prefer brighter colors that go beyond reality.
December will be yet another set of experiments.