After more than 20 years of being a professional tourism photographer, it’s only now – largely as a result of the time I’ve served in lockdown – that I discovered there’s so much more I can do to improve my photographs in post-production.
And, with this, has come the somewhat belated revelation that what I do to edit my photos is just as important as whatever I’ve done to capture them in the first place.
Truth be told, finding the time to study advanced post-production techniques has largely escaped me until now as my work has tended to involve me rushing from destination to destination, with clients eager for a quick turn-around of their promotional images.
But, what I’ve come to realise is that, sometimes, photographs just need to be left to sit for a while before being edited. Time alone can certainly change your perspective but, in my case, diving down the rabbit-hole of post-production has not only changed the photographs I’ve returned to work on, it’s profoundly changed the way I intend to approach my photography in future.
As I’ve written in recent posts, my lessons have come largely through the “University of Yu-Tube” which has introduced me to a range of advanced post-production techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop. Over several months, I’ve been applying what I’ve learned to photos exhumed from my archives, before adding them to my commercial photo library. It’s a process I’ve enjoyed, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the results, so-much-so that when I return to my wandering, I plan to shift my attention and focus on producing more emotive, sensual imagery that is likely to capture the mood of a destination and provide a more intimate portrayal of the people I meet.
Here’s a few photographs of Myanmar which I pulled from the archives and worked on, with thumbnails of the raw files at the bottom for reference. The post-production techniques I’ve applied – particularly the colour grading – demonstrates where I’m heading. In short, I expect my photography to become more documentary in appearance (though more of an interpretation of the subject than just a record) with a stronger emphasis on producing aesthetically pleasing images.
It’s an exciting shift I’m looking forward to…….once I’m in the air again.
Following are thumbnails of the raw files to show you where the pics started from, and a link to the earlier post I wrote about colour grading: