Digital Images – Digital Darkroom – Part One


Something about working on the iPad to edit and share my images reminds me of the fun I had with the wet-film-paper workflow that used to be the norm in film-based darkrooms.

For me, the act of capturing the image with a camera is only one part, the first part, of the creative process.

What to shoot?
Sure, without the initial image, all the cool darkroom tricks are meaningless — take a picture of a white sheet of paper and see how cool it looks with a sepia filter applied, or a Hipster grain. Interesting subject matter is essential.

Start here
The initial image is the starting point — the place where you begin to express your ‘photographic eye’. There are many, many books that can help you develop your ‘photographic eye’, and the library is a great place to find them. Or any magazine at a supermarket checkout. Or National Geographic — anything with images shot by a professional photographer — you can learn from all of those.


The art of seeing
To me, capturing the image is a distinct experience in itself. Looking at your subject, be it a snow covered barbwire fence, your dog, or a building, finding something visually interesting is key.

For me, that’s a significant part of the challenge.

The craft of capturing
Next comes the part where I make sure I can capture the best image possible — best for bringing into my Digital Darkroom, that is.

For me this consists of making sure the image is framed well, not digitally noisy (using too high an ISO setting), free of distracting elements, such as a tree branch behind (and appearing to be sticking out of) my subject’s head, for example.


A matter of style
All of this goes into developing your personal photographic style. It’s something that evolves over time as you become experienced. It’s something that’s expressed in every image you take — by the subject selection, by the image placement in the frame, by the type of lighting you use in the shot..etc.

And then, perhaps the easiest part of capturing an image, is actually capturing it. Press the shutter. Many times. Take a few more of the same subject with a slightly different framing, or lighting, or focus point. Digital photos are basically free, unlike film back in the day :smileywink:

Into the darkroom
So that’s a bit of my thinking on capturing the image. Next time I’ll look at my workflow in my Digital Darkroom.
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