Hello fellow light modifiers! Let me start you off with a quote this month. “If I have any ‘message' worth giving to a beginning Photographer, it is that there are no short cuts in Photography”…Edward Weston
I would like to expand upon his quote to include not only beginners but those who might be a lot farther along in their Photographic journey. Personally I started my journey in the film days. I no longer shoot film nor would I want to. In my opinion digital imagery offers us way more than film did, and now a days it’s difficult at best to find true “film darkrooms”, but I digress to another subject for the future. Why then did I even mention film?
Because todays Photographer has missed so much education in the realm of our current situation. After all… snap an image, and you get to see it right away! Don’t like your lighting setup? Simply check it out in the back of your camera, or that lap top your looking at, and then change it. We used to have a name for our light setups… yes some people still use those names, but truth be told the reason we named our set up was so we could remember exactly what we did three weeks later when we got our film back from the lab!
Today’s Photographer has become lazy, and doesn’t wish to study the “tough” parts. They want instant gratification, just like they get from their camera. There is another key element to this paradigm… This is digital Photography my friends! That means computers! For the younger photographer this is good, because they grew up with computers. Their challenge is now to learn the stuff that might be a bit more difficult, from the film days. For the older Photographer? Hey they learned all the tough stuff in the film days… their challenge now? The Computer!
Ladies and Gentlemen… I do a lot of teaching in my Photography business every day, and let me tell you the computer is the biggest challenge, young or old! The young wish to take a bracket of images and hit the button and out pops this wonderfully saturated image, that would take you a solid six months or a year to learn how to do in Photoshop, today's darkroom. Most take it to far. The older crowd? Wow! You simply can not believe how behind the “older” Photographer is when it comes to computer skills. Is that you? Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger! I’m out here every day. I see it. A lack of computer skills will severely hold you back now a days when it comes to making your images into what you saw.
I hope by now most of you know I advocate getting out there to shoot. Every single day! I’ve been doing that for over 50 years now and I’m STILL jazzed to capture my next image, I NEVER go anywhere without a camera, and I’m constantly shooting. In the film days I hated the darkroom. Stinky chemicals. A small room (unless it was a very large operation)and bottom line for me? I love being outdoors! However for me the single greatest hurdle to digital Photography has been the computer. I’ve only been fully digital for about 8 years now. And remember… I hated the darkroom. So in the past eight years I have made a concentrated effort to work on my computer skills. Not only because it’s digital Photography, but also due to the fact that I hated the darkroom so I had someone else doing my “editing” in the film days. So… learn from my mistakes. Attack that computer folks. Make it your friend. As soon as you become more proficient in it’s use, you will then open a wide arena to your capabilities with digital Photography.
I know, I know…. but Garrett… there is a really cool lens I want to buy! Or a new camera, or something. Photographers are notorious gadget mongers. However, now? Get the biggest baddest computer, with that awesome big beautiful 27 inch 5k display…. stay with that Photography equipment you currently own, and set your keister in learning mode. With that current gear learn more about taking an awesome image to start with, and then sit down in front of that glorious new super computer and study the crap out of what to do with your Photographs, and how to protect your digital assets. Remember this too…. the masters of Photography from the past, were shooting with hugely inferior cameras compared to what we have today. Even the entry level DSLR is far more camera than the ‘greats’ used…
The computer is your darkroom folks…. you can do far more with crappy Photography Equipment, and an awesome computer setup with your knowledge behind it… than you can with things reversed.