As a digital artist and animator, I spend a lot of time staring into my computer screen at work. I’ve used Photoshop and for over a decade (as well as Illustrator, After Effects, 3D Studio Max, and a variety of other graphics programs). However, until now I have not done much in terms of editing photographs beyond the obvious color correction and cropping.
This week I started taking photos in RAW and editing them in Camera Raw. Hey, why didn’t anyone ever tell me how powerful and exciting this is? In addition to making the usual corrections to my photos before posting them here, I played around with pushing some of my pictures beyond realism and pleasantly balanced contrast into the realm of abstract colors and obviously unnatural results. This post contains some of my more successful experiments.
It’s interesting to me how thinking of taking pictures as Photography has changed my feelings about it. I’m doing the same thing, pointing my camera at a composed subject and capturing it, but I’m thinking about it in a different way. I am using that part of my brain I usually only use when painting or drawing. Suddenly it feels like an artistic endeavor, not just capturing pretty stuff I see. There is a subtle difference to this process that intrigues me.
I can’t quite find the words to explain what I’m trying to describe here. But when I go on my photo walks now, it feels different. The photography is the point, the walk is just what I have to do to get to the things I want to shoot. Whereas in the past, the walking was the point, and if I saw something, I would stop and take a picture. Similarly, editing photos with an eye toward creating something new and artistic, rather than simply improving photos technically, feels new and exciting.