Looking at what’s out there in terms of blogs, advice columns, how-to books, get-rich-quick books, I’ve come to realize that the one thing most of them lack is the idea that the heart matters. There’s some great ones out there that do just that, focus on meaning, and that’s what we all need more of, especially where technique & meaning cross because, if they don’t, then we tend to loose ourselves and photography falls flat. I’m totally far from perfect in this way, so take what I’m about to say knowing that I’m no angel either.
Photo = technique + craft + heart
Now that the math’s out of the way, thank goodness for that, we should always be striving for meaning, not just in life in general, but in the photographs we take. For myself, if I can’t portray the beauty of nature in my nature shots, then I begin to see that I’m losing at least some kind of meaning in what I’m getting a shot of. Now, to be clear, that doesn’t mean oversaturating the colors & editing the crap out of the shot, but it does mean paying close attention to the interplay between colors, tones & form in each scene. I know I’ve done this topic many times before, but sometimes, all this stuff just adds to the noise, detracting from us keeping our minds open to really concentrating on the meaning of what we’re trying to say with our photographs.
The above photograph really communicated the message of reaching for something with caution because of the way some of the petals extended themselves. Now, if my craft & technique wasn’t all that great, this shot wouldn’t have come out anywhere near what it did, especially color & noise wise. For me, Clarity (localized contrast) has become a key point in how I see things while editing because it’s a tidier tool/slider than contrast with its less drastic control, allowing for better fine tuning either on the positive side or the negative side.