I sometimes imagine how my digital lightroom would look were it an actual darkroom. Hundreds of rolls of undeveloped raw ‘files’ would be everywhere and all over the floor. Music and coffee would be non stop. Developed images would previously be all over the place in a big mess but this Summer I created a structured catalogue, a filing ‘cabinet’, of my fine art releases. And there would be me, lost in time, tinkering with six different images at the same time as that is how my mind and creative process works. My darkroom, virtual or actual, is one creative and fun place to work. Just be careful not to step on my hundreds of rolls of ‘raw’ files on the floor.
Travel and Ethno Photography
My main passion will always be landscapes but I wish to learn travel- and ethno photography and learn it well. I have some exciting opportunities coming up soon to be announced, that requires a higher skill in this area. So I am digging into the rolls of undeveloped raw files from Laos and have fun trying many different techniques and looks in Photoshop. It is a very different beast to developing landscapes as I find these images needs more localized work in Photoshop. It is a lot of creative fun as these images can also take a lot more pixel abuse so to speak, ending up in good, bad and just plain weird results. Here are two of the images I have been road testing many new looks and tools on in my darkroom:
I find it is always a good idea to view the original image again after hours of pixel abusing. Your reaction tells you if you took a few wrong turns. You either enhanced or ruined the essential expression in the image. Usually my reaction was was ‘oh crap, I really ruined that one, original is way better, close and no do not want to save!’.
EDIT: Here’s a version where you can see my edit versus the ‘unedited’. Well, it’s a raw file so the ‘unedited’ had to have a white balance and a bit of development but it’s very neutral. I think I desaturated and darkened the background a tad too much. This is a dry part of Laos so it is a dusty green, not jungle green. I moved the light around, added contrast and enhanced texture.
Let me know what you think of these, good or bad. It is like learning to paint again using new brushes on a new material in a new palette – and I need feedback.
PS. Hang in there landscape lovers, back on track soon, Monument Valley coming up.