Different Visions

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At my “day job” we have an arrangement where the photographer shots, captions and then the designers adjust the images. The is fine and dandy, on occasion.

Usually when I shot I see through the whole process to and can envision the final image as I’m creating the image. So while I may be see this something in front of me, I can also see where I’m going to have to crop, adjust levels to get the appropriate contrast or adjust colors to get the white balance accurate to the scene.

The problem is that while I can see through this whole process the designers don’t. They weren’t there in the first place to see what’s important and know the background of an image. Their skills are variable, their time limited and hence their adjustments aren’t always what I’d like them to be. On top of that while they may adjust a few images a week, probably not more than 10, it takes hundreds to do it well, if you ask me.

That difference in experience is often the difference between seeing what’s in front of you, straight out of the camera, and what’s possible with some reasonably small, but important tweaking.

Many a year ago I did some work for a studio and some days I’d come in and just have to clean. 8 hours of cleaning, it was a real blast. It had to be done and I was getting paid. I would clean for hours, and the studio would still look horrible and dirty. Then at the end I’d sweep. As soon as I was done sweeping the studio looked great. Sometimes a photo would need to get rushed, I’d have to finish my cleaning before I was really done, so I’d just make sure to sweep real quick and get started on the new shoot. As long as I swept everything looked clean.

I learned a lot of good lessons at that job. One of them being that doing those last smaller steps are vital to making the larger job shine.


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