I have mentioned before that I am always seeking new ways to improve. Today, I want to share one of my daily initiatives that I religiously employ, and that’s my daily color exploration. Each scene, each set offers a different set of challenges, and practice is what makes us […]
I came across this article today over at fstoppers.com and feel that the advice is just too good not to share. So often as photographers, when don’t revisit older pieces of our work and this article, suggests that there is actually quite a lot to learn by doing so – I tend to agree! Not only can you do this to your photos, but you can also have a go at editing other people work. Just remember, that unless you have permission to post your edits of their work rather keep them to yourself.
What I came up with was my daily exercise. Each morning, while having my coffee and waking up, I will take a photo from anywhere — perhaps an old photo from my website or something I see on Instagram that I like — and depending on the image, I bring it into Photoshop and mess with it. If it was a bad color cell phone pic from a model’s Instagram I follow, I’ll try to see if I can even out and correct the skin color, then apply a cohesive grade with the scene. The challenge is to make it as good as I can in under three minutes. Of course, I don’t save or keep these files, I just do it each day on a new pic, and the result is that I get lots of practice at adjusting different things than what I commonly run into in my daily work.
The benefit from this daily exercise is that I have new tools in my mental toolbox for how to deal with certain things in my daily work. It really does help and make a difference; I have visibly seen new abilities that I can directly attribute to these daily exercises.
To me, this seems like the 10000 hours rule at play. The more you practise something the better you get. Or, as Gary Player famously said, “the more I practise the luckier I get.” If you put in the time to practise your editing not only will you get better at it, but you will also become a whole lot quicker at editing as well. The beauty about editing other peoples work is that it takes you out of your comfort zone. It forces you to think more about the process of editing rather than just going through the same steps that you always go through to edit your own work. It is during exercises like this that I have discovered some of my favourite editing techniques.
The side bonus if I go and re-grade a previous image of my own is that I can upload it back to my site better than it was before, because the intention of these exercises is that I should be better today than I was a year ago, etc.
This is great advice. Sometimes the work we created 1, 2, or 3 years ago is actually really good but it has been let down by poor/dated editing. Why not re-upload the image with the new edits showing the world what you are capable of today. Why keep the same old image on your site that is the victim of a long forgotten Lightroom filter that you loved 3 years ago?
There are some great tips in the article so why not head over to FStoppers.com and check it out – The link can be found below. Are there any other exercises that you do to improve your photography? Let me know in the comments below as I’m always up for learning something new.