Sunday, April 18, 2010

Photography Then and Now

Thought some of you might get a laugh out of the pic on the left. That's me, about 25 years ago.

I look like Guido the Photographer.

I was shooting my cousin's wedding. One of only two times I've ever shot a wedding. (The second time being about 6 months ago... for friends.)

No disrespect to wedding photographers but that's two times too many from my POV. (Obviously, it's why I look so thrilled to be there in the pic.) My thoughtful daughter, btw, posted the pic on her Facebook page.

But it did get me thinking about what I've changed in terms of shooting techniques, i.e., shooting film versus shooting digital.

For the most part, the answer is "very little." In fact, almost nothing.

I still stalk light in much the same way. I compose most of my shots similarly. There's little difference in the way I interact with subjects. I might know more than I knew then but that knowledge, while often helpful, hasn't fundamentally changed my approaches to my photography. In other words, photography is photography regardless of the medium, film or digital, used to capture pictures.

Most importantly, the instant pudding character of digital photography, coupled with the easily-achieved fix it in post capabilities of digital post-processing has done little to effect my production techniques.

Why am I mentioning this?

Probably to, once again, underscore the importance of learning the front end of photography, that is, developing good photography skills versus simply or mostly focusing on post-processing skills.

I used to often hear a popular saying, "You are what you eat." In photography, your photos are what you shoot, not what you digitally manipulate.

I'm not bashing post-processing. I'm bashing the notion that post-processing trumps production when it comes to good photography. While digital re-touching can often achieve remarkable results, they aren't often transparent results. Leastwise, when it comes to the finished product.

As usual, I'm just sayin.

Just to prove I'm not cold-hearted, only posting that silly pic of myself, here's one of a semi-naked pretty girl I shot some time ago. Model is Missy. Lit her with my 33.5" Mola "Euro" beauty dish, camera-right, for the main, with a strip box, camera-left, highlighting from behind, also using a small box, boomed overhead and behind, for a hair light.


Tazmania said...

Reminds me of myself 25 years ago, although I never had a mustache and the hat came much later.

I agree on post-processing. Better to have hair, makeup and lighting done right than to try to fix it in Photoshop.

jimmyd said...


It was a hot, sunny, summer day. Much of the wedding reception took place outdoors. That's probly why I'm wearing the "Guido" hat w/ hair pulled back in pony tail. My standard BB cap wouldn't have been right, it being a wedding and all.

Taeke said...

Looks like your next piece of gear should be a Olympus Pen :-)

Damien said...

Enjoyable writing as usual... But holy crap, that old photo of you looks just like what I'm wearing to my bud's wedding this weekend!

I was going for a mix of "Hannibal Lector at the end of Silence of the Lambs", and "New Orleans Kingpin in 70's Cop Drama". haha