Stay with me, photography as a hobby or a profession can be lots of fun. I enjoy the time I spend with other photographers or by myself out there in nature. Taking photo tours locally with them and discovering new scenes. How is it irritating you might wonder, well here’s my reason for bringing this to your attention. I’m using that word’s definition to rid the mediocre in me.
A smartphone is what I started with and then I discovered Google Plus Photos that is now a standalone, Google Photos. In the beginning, it had a prominent feature. It would show the Highlights of all your photos you took. I used that to learn to improve my photography composition where now others will comment that pictures look good and most of the time, those photos came straight from the camera, no cropping or retouching.
Then there are those photos that I feel need a bit of editing to make them pop more. Whether it’s faux HDR (Snapseed), true HDR (Capture One Pro to Aurora HDR Pro, RAW, bracketed), or the basics (adjusting Highlights and Shadows) of editing, I try to leave the final image as close to the natural state as possible. Some days, my mood will have an impact on the final result. but when I stay true to the original look, I find the image to retains the thoughts I had when I took the photo.
Here is where in the editing process, whether that’s 30 minutes to an hour long in faux/true HDR with layers or the basics, I find that there are photos that are exceptional of themselves. Then there is that point in the editing workflow where I find myself changing perspectives while looking at the photograph and asking myself whether I like it yet or not.
When I first started editing, I thought that way, “Do I like it?” Then I started to post photos that I disliked and there are at least five photos in the 800 some that I’ve posted most recently that I literally disregard (not exceptional) but I’ve gotten the most likes on. Others, deleted.
It’s not my goal to get likes, it’s my goal to not be mediocre. To always change, to always grow out of that conforming box. I intentionally become irritated during the editing process. There’s an irritation meter indicator that I’ve set up internally to notice when the photograph is to that point that it makes me feel like I’m on edge or not in my comfort zone with how I feel about it. It’s not over edited but the result of those edits, when I look at it push me to want to shriek internally, to experience that tag in your T-shirt, those nails on a chalkboard, those raindrops falling on your bare skin like needles, that place where you’ve arrived and there are new people in a large, noisy group and you just want to get out of there! Hopefully, I’ve alluded to that edgy experience in a way that you can relate to. It’s when that moment appears that I know it’s time to stop editing and publish the photograph.