Monday, April 9, 2012

Point-and-shoot then crop, crop, crop

Technology is our friend
Grease pencils

In my previous life, layout editing and design helped to pay the bills.  From newspapers and yearbooks, to pamphlets and local magazines, grease pencils and graph-lined paper were my friends.  Today, things have changed…. Kodak has filed for bankruptcy protection, cameras are now digital instead of analog, and photo editing is done on our computers and cell phones. 
Plastic photo cropping tool.

In this particular instance, technology IS our friend.  Poof-be-gone to those long days spent in the dark room, looking at slides, and proofing typeset.  And, the individuals who developed “Spell Check” should be canonized… or at least knighted!
Does anyone use a dictionary these days???
This is certainly NOT one of those “back in the good ole days,” Kumbayah-inspired moments.  No need to reinvent the proverbial wheel!
Old rusty wench

During those years, I spent most of my time – especially on yearbooks and newspapers – hunting through photo negatives, deciding what needed a reshoot, and figuring out how to make things look their best.  Now, that job would be soooo much simpler.  Our technology can make even the most mediocre photos look great.  My photographic expertise, that of using my iPhone to point and shoot, is a great example of the necessity of our current computer technology.  Those little "tweaks" can make all of the difference in the world.  And, when all else fails, convert it to black and white. 

Take for instance a few of my photos... all taken either with an iPhone or a Sony Cybershot point-and-shoot camera.  NO Photoshop® was used.
Men's Store in Portobello Market.  London, England. 

The results can be markedly improved by simply cropping the photo.  The black and white version was born out of necessity... the image was being used in a gallery mount of b&w photography. 

Train from the "the Underground." London, England. 

Converting this photo of the London Underground to black and white while simultaneously cropping out that advertisment for the iPad 2 makes it... timeless. 

Seagrass baskets being woven at the Market.  Charleston, SC.

Sometimes, the idea is to "crop in" elements in the photo.  The visual impact of the baskets were lost in the original... but by only including them in the image, their impact was dramatically enhanced. 

Vintage car at the Avalon in South Beach.  Miami, Florida.

This is one of my favorites!  By using a red filter, the blue becomes a vivid black and the street and other distractions are eliminated by "custom" size cropping.  

Personally, I’m thankful for the crop, edit, and enhance features on my computer.  They would have saved me a great deal of time trying to get orange grease pencil off of my hands. 

Give it a try.... point-and-shoot, and then crop the crap out of it!  The results might suprise you...

No comments:

Post a Comment