08 June 2012

Save your money...

One of the advantages of my day-job (as a Graphic Designer) is that it has helped inform my creative passions like comics and photography (ie. Composition, layout, colour, retouching, light, etc).

My thinking has always been that as long as you work at your craft (ie.drawing, writing, photography, music, whatever), then I think the results will speak for themselves over time. Maybe I've just always been wary of the 'new' but I seem to see no evidence that it produces much artistic value simply by virtue of being five seconds old.

For example... my view is that most people are throwing away thousands of dollars on over-hyped, expensive cameras and lenses in the belief that their photos will turn out like the ones in magazines just because they've bought the sharpest lens or the highest megapixel camera. They WON'T. The reason is that professional photos are almost always (virtually without exception) adjusted afterwards (by a person), after having the photo shot initially (by a person)... I do it at my day job for magazine covers, etc. I see too many people with L lenses attached to shiny pro cameras that are set to 'auto' and I shake my head.

Below is an example of a photo that I shot (of some pompous writer) with a 40yr old lens:

AFTER: Optimised photo.

BEFORE: Raw photo taken from camera.

I guess what I'm saying is... create something, and stop just buying the new and thinking that you're somehow half-way to a masterpiece. Make stuff. Beat on your craft. Fine-tune what you have. Daily. Weekly... and live.

- Bobby.N


LENS: Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.4 (manual) + mc/md adapter
SETTINGS: ISO: 200, Apeture: 1.4, Shutter: 1/40 (Should have been at least 1/50, really)

POST PROCESSING: Boost exposure, boost vibrance (not saturation), adjust levels/curves for shadow and highlight balance, colour grade, sharpen face area, plus other small incremental things, etc.


Matt Emery said...

If only there was a filter to reduce pomposity.

Ryan Claytor said...

Hi Bobby,

This is Ryan Claytor, the comics creator/prof who bought a few of your books from Michigan, USA. Neat post. Any chance of a tutorial follow-up?

Regardless, nice work.

Ryan Claytor
Elephant Eater Comics

Bobby.N said...

Hi Ryan... A tutorial of the photo?!... man, that would open up a can of worms. 1) I'd have to describe lens/camera settings (and why), whose terms would mean little to the comics people who generally read my blog, and 2) The camera purists would probably chime in with their corrections of "how I should have done it". I'll add a little somethind to the bottom of this post soon, but the whole process would take far longer to describe in detail that I'd care to describe... besides, each photo correction is done differently depending on what needs to be 'boosted' or 'minimised' in the photo... not to mention the subjective effect I'm going for... bah, all too complicated. I'd rather do comics :)