How making pictures that are true to these moments you live.

There is a saying about photography:  “Don’t just take pictures, make pictures”.  Making pictures is more than working in the field making sure all the technical aspects like sharpness, exposition and composition are correct.  In fact, these technical aspects are the basics.  If you got them wrong, it will be difficult to make a picture from the picture taken.

Once the picture is in camera, what do you want to make of it.  What is its purpose and audience?  I took this picture a short time after landing in Nicaragua in January 2011.  I vividly remember how I felt when I landed in Nicaragua.  The red line on the thermometer went from minus 20 F to 108 F for a delta of 128 degrees.  My white wintery skin is quite sensible to the strong sun near the equator.

2011-01-16-0104I took this colorful picture while visiting Granada.  While I like the bright colors and the successions of doors and windows, I don’t feel the heat when I look at this picture.  On that sunny day, the heat was very intense.

Today, going back through these past pictures, I decided to make a picture, from this picture I took.  This picture should help me remember the heat of that day.  Good! Now I have Audience and Purpose.

When I want to imprint a strong message with a picture, my tool of choice is Nik Color Efex Pro 4.  There is more than 50 filters in Color Efex Pro and each of them have multiple parameters.  Their Control Point technology also helps applying these filters to desired areas without complex masking.

Using Contrast Color Range filter I could increase the contrast between shady and sunny areas. Using Old Photo, gone the shiny distracting colors and here come the high contrast between shady and sunny areas.  Image Borders is a good tool to create border, in this situation burned coarse borders was supporting the overall message.

I then recorded this combination as a recipe so I can re-use this combination in the future.  Post-processing time: 5 minutes!

2011-01-16-0105-Edited-3Now I feel the heat of that day when I look at this picture.  My audience love the message.  Both pictures are nice, taken from the same pixels, a different audience or message leads to a different picture.

When I make pictures, I consider this:

  • Who is the audience, what is the message?
  • Make sure all technical aspects are right on.
  • Get it right in Camera.
  • Post process to support the message and please the audience.

Do you make pictures from the picture to take?