Thursday, 1 November 2007

Photographer or Photoshop expert?

It all started with a quick trip to the Adobe website. I went there in search of any updates for Photoshop and found a reference to a "Masterclass" in Melbourne. It was free to register so what did I have to lose?
The course/lecture was yesterday and there were over 100 people who turned up to have a look. The lecturer was a "world renowned" photographer (don't get me started on Americans being the champions of the world... Like the World Series of this or that that is only run and won in the US and no one else even knows it happened!). It turns out that you can be a world renowned photographer by being a photographer that works for Adobe and lectures around the world on how photoshop works...
In saying that Julieanne Kost is indeed a good photographer who is an awesome power user of photoshop and all of the associated programs, having worked for Adobe since 1993.
Have you ever been to a product information session that inspired you to buy the product and then when you got it home you couldn't work out how to use it? It looked easy when the expert, who has been using it since they knee high, demonstrated it!!!
Anyway, I guess there's a whole 'nuther learning curve in front of me...
The photography course last night was good. Brian was back and we had a look at how lenses worked and the relationship between the focal length of the lens and the aperture and how that affects the amount of light that gets to the film. I'm glad that there are experts out there who make lenses and get the maths right! About the only thing that Brian didn't mention last night was that the more light that a lens can allow to get to the film in the shortest time, the more expensive (and bigger, he mentioned that) the lens will be... Brian had some of his good lenses and his professional film camera there for us to look at and, I have to admit, a little bit of lens lust happened on my behalf... If I was able to sell my left kidney I may, just may mind you, be able to afford some of the gear that I want but don't really need... Yet!
There are so many excellent and creative photographers out there, will we ever be as good as them? What will it take? What will it cost in time, effort, commitment and money?
There is one other thing I have been mulling over in my mind. Ben mentioned last week that when he first started as a wedding photographer he was allowed to use three rolls of film. One for the bridal party preparing for the wedding, one for the ceremony and one for the formal portraits after the wedding. 36 images in total for the whole wedding. For this he was paid $35.00 (it was the early 70s) but if he mucked up a shot he was docked $5, if he mucked up 2 shots he was docked $15 and if he mucked up 3 shots he wasn't paid. He got good quick!
Nowdays, with digital cameras, it isn't unusual to take 3000 images of a wedding! 3000 images to take, process, select from, maniplate and WADE THROUGH PER WEEK! Wouldn't it be a better option to take 300 good images and work with them than to just keep pressing the shutter button and hoping for a good image?
Yesterday Julieanne mentioned that as a (World Renowned) photographer she expects that she will only use 10% of her images and of those only 1 will be really good. Hmmm, if a photographer makes a living on 1% of their images there are only two options.
  1. Take more photos.
  2. Increase your skill so that your percentages increase.

I know which I will be aiming for, I want to be a photographer, not a photoshop expert...

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