GRIPS: Saturday, Dec 10

Autumn Glow, Teasel; photograph by Terry A. McDonaldI’m looking forward to presenting “Shaping Landscape and Nature Photographs in Lightroom” on Saturday, December 10. The Grand River Imaging and Photograpic Society (GRIPS) is a very creative and well-structured club with capacity membership. There are a great many excellent photographers contributing thoughtful and compelling works throughout the year. This, of course, ups the ante for me to provide truly insightful approaches to processing images files.

From my perspective, the making of a photograph has two essential elements: field and screen. A photographer who creates the image file in the camera must then finish what they’ve started by carrying the file through to its artistic conclusion by processing the file. What a camera spits out is, at best, a “machine print”. Some might think it’s good enough as is, but I think they are short-changing the creative power of working on screen to bring out the full expression of what the camera captured, exactly as was done in a darkroom in decades past. “Shaping” is an essential part of the process, to help viewers visually move through the photograph.

It’s not “Photoshop-ing”, a concept that has grown to mean a variety things somewhat akin to Frankenstein’s monster. The vast array of push-button “fixes” and alternate visual universes offered by myriad plug-ins and apps is truly  bewildering, but they’re not for me. Call me a simpleton, but I’m still trying to achieve the perfect “straight” photograph! While I appreciate the vast range of possibilities offered by Photoshop, and was a Photoshop user for years after Lightroom was introduced, it’s bloated,  all-in-one tool for digital illustrators is really not the right fit for me, especially because my end goal is the print, which LR does magnificently.

I’m not saying anything new here as digital photographers have been working in this way for years now, and film photographers for decades before this. Taking the time to create a compelling file or neg is the essential first step. Taking the time to re-create that feeling of being there at the moment the file was created, breathing life back into the “machine print”, for me, is the true essence of the photographic medium.

So this is the journey I will be walking participants through on Saturday. We meet from 9am to noon at Kitchener East Presbyterian Church, 10 Zeller Drive, Kitchener. Bring your questions, your digital files (your compositions) and your laptops! But you’ll need to register by visiting the workshop link above. Hope to see you there!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.