On Understanding That You Are The Constant Variable
I'm still not sure where to begin with this week. Instead of just mindlessly gushing about the +Google+ Photographer's Conference
and all of the amazing people and experiences that go along with it, I'll save those stories for more refined posts in the coming weeks.
For now, I want to share a concept that I wholeheartedly believe in, and that is to understand that you are always the one constant variable in your shot. For me, this trip marked my very first time visting San Francisco, and, to a larger extent, California itself. I was really excited to see the cable cars, the Embarcadero and, more than anything else, the Golden Gate Bridge.
Now, it may be easy to psych yourself out from trying to get "a good shot"
of something that has already been photographed two trillion and forty two times already, but as a photographer (you are a photographer, right?), you owe it to yourself to get the shots for yourself and here is my reasoning for why:Until it has been shot by you, it hasn't been shot by you
You love the rhetoric, right? :)
But in all seriousness, ask yourself this one question:What is the one most important variable brought to this exact scene?
Simply put, it's YOU!
When I stood here at this very spot, in the vicinity of +Nicole S. Young
, +Ricardo Lagos
, and +Justin Kern
, the one core variable was my artistic sensibilities. Did it matter that the three of them were shooting the exact same subject? Not at all. None of them were going to shoot or process the exact same way that I would and vice versa. We each ended up walking away with our own variations of the same thing and I can now turn back to my Lightroom catalog and see that I have put my own stamp on this iconic landmark. And you know what? It feels freaking awesome!In terms of processing
This image has some fairly straightforward stylization. It is a two exposure blend using Perfect Layers 2 by +onOne Software
. Both exposures were taken with my Canon 5D Mark III and the Canon 24-105mm lens with the Lee 3-stop 4x4 ND filter (to give the water and clouds a little bit of motion). The first exposure was for the foreground and the second was for the sky and bridge.
Just about all stylization was actually done in Lightroom 4.1RC2 for a chance. I didn't want to add much except for a Hollywood Glow
from Perfect Effects 3.