All digital, all the time!
I am so not a trendy person. About the time I decide I like a clothing style, styles have changed again and I can’t find any of what I finally noticed. Maybe I need to shop at consignment stores instead of department stores! Clothing-wise, I like things that wear well and are easy to care for.
It seems I’m the same way when it comes to photography. Though it’s taken a while, I’m satisfied with my collection of digital tools—dSLR, purse-sized point & shoot, and my editing and organizing software. In fact, the only thing I lack is enough time for photography. I’m mostly a weekend photographer, usually taking a good part of each Saturday to capture images either by myself or in the company of like-minded women from my Digital Divas meetup group. I love the photo finding adventure, but I also enjoy the post-processing aspect of photography. I started shooting in raw earlier this year and am fascinated by what can be done with these images in Lightroom. That said, I usually make only minor adjustments to apply a camera profile, adjust white balance, and crop the image if needed.
Digital cameras, including everything from cell phone cameras through more capable and versatile dSLRs, have made photography accessible and affordable to almost everyone. I envy today’s young families their ability to record picture after picture of their children—because they can. When our daughter was young, photos were usually taken for birthdays and at holiday celebrations. Most every day events never made it onto film and are now just dusty memories at the back of my brain.
The internet, via sites for photo posting, blogging, and digital scrapbooking, provides many ways for people to share their images with others and, for those who want to learn more, there is almost unlimited inspiration available by exploring other people’s images, trying new techniques via tutorials, and participating in photographic challenges of various kinds.
One trend I’ve noticed recently is adding textures to images. Kim Klassen, at Kim Klassen Cafe, creates and shares (often as freebies) one fascinating texture after the other and hosts a weekly challenge for her readers to apply those textures to their images. Kim periodically offers an introductory class that covers some of the basics of Photoshop and applying textures to images (the photo below is one of my initial attempts). If you haven’t already done so, check it out when you have a minute!
However, this is another case of “what was once old is now new again.” The image below was taken in the early 1970s, probably on either 4×5″ or 2¼ x 2¼” negative film, and the texture was applied via a second exposure through an acetate overlay laid on top of the photo paper. The print was, of course, hand processed by the portrait photographer who took the shot. My point in sharing this image is to convey how unusual it was in the era of film photography for an ordinary person like me to have such an artistic photograph taken and, of course, application of the post-exposure texture was even more rare. These days each of us is easily able to do this and other, even more sophisticated techniques for ourselves.
Trends will come and go, often driven by technological advances that either popularize a method or make it easier to achieve a certain result. The internet and social media increase awareness of tools and trendsetters who make the best use of them, so more people are likely to experiment with new techniques simply because they know about them. However, I expect most trends will be short-lived because our digital world is moving so fast—there’s always the “next big thing” ready to grab people’s attention—until, of course, the cycle repeats itself. For me, I’m guessing that my use of photographic trends will lag popular use of those trends, and I’ll either use them in my own time or catch them when they become popular a second or third time.
Style-wise, I expect my favorite subjects will always be from nature. Until now, most of my photography has been of flowers and other natural objects either with a zoom lens or, more recently, experimenting with macro images. I will continue working on both of these, but I am also intrigued by landscape photography of both the natural and manmade variety. I’ve done a bit of hunting on the internet and found several promising sites. One that is definitely new to me is the slr Lounge, where I found this link to tips for landscape photography. You might also note their tutorials for photography, Photoshop, and Lightroom.
Posted for an assignment for the Journey of Recognition course, which is part of Kat Sloma’s Find Your Eye series of classes.