Friday, April 30, 2010

Deep Rock

200mm at f/10

Lightroom offers some awesome features for managing and organizing your photographic work. I imagine it's less ideal for managing snapshots from your vacations or parties, but it's great when you use it for organizing your "portfolio" of artistic work.

Lately, the number of photos I have sitting around waiting to be processed has gotten out of control. I've also been perusing some older photo shoots and finding some hidden gems. All of this has lead me to put some thought towards finding a way to keep track of all these photos that I'd like to "eventually process".

One of the tools available in Lightroom is the ability to apply a color label to each of your photos. I've decided to label all of my "published" photos (that is, photos I've uploaded and shared) blue, and to label all of my photos that I think merit some future attention yellow. I can then easily filter my entire library for yellow photos, and when I feel in the mood, I can pick one or two to process and share.

I mentioned I've found some older photos that looked promising. I think what happened with these is that there was some creativity in the composition, but the light, color, contrast, or whatever didn't work out and they didn't look that great straight off the camera. Now that I'm more confident in my editing skills, though, I can play some tricks to highlight the good elements of these images and make use of them.

Also, the more I learn about design and composition, the more interested I've become in the photos where the composition is more of the focus than the actual material--basically, I've started to have a greater appreciation for my more abstract images.

The image at the top of this post is of a rock in the San Francisco Bay. It was taken in 2006 from the Golden Gate bridge with a long zoom lens. I like the perspective--I think the overhead view makes me feel like I'm hovering above it about to fall into the bay [shudder].

It was middday and the rock was pretty harshly lit, and it's also covered in bird poop and dead grass. Overall, the face of the rock was just a distracting mess. I used a Lightroom preset here called "Cold Tone", which I think had a great effect in creating a simpler, almost monochromatic image with a mysterious vibe.

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