Over the past ten years of studying photography and editing very seriously, I have learned a TON!!! And I am still learning daily. I want you to know I do not know everything. But, I am resourceful and diligent in my search for the proper and best answers I can find via my resources of many professionals. I've always said the day I stop learning I need to walk away.
We all learn differently whether it be by reading, watching tutorials or mentoring.
Ten years ago when I started out with digital, there were not a quarter of the tutorials, closed Facebook groups or many willing to share some editing techniques and aids in helping another, for the sake of this blog let's say color casts. Many are guarded sharing that information, and some still do. I, personally don't understand that methodology.
Here's why. Ten people with ten different, or even the same camera, different lenses, or the same lenses, take a picture of ONE flower. Everyone is going to have a different perspective and everyone is going to focus on what “he/she" feels is going to be the highlight or emphasis on that flower. Now, let's add the editing of that flower. Everyone edits differently and uses different tools. So, with that being said, there is NO ONE that can shoot like I do. I see things some may not, and I may even choose a different detail of that flower that no one else does. NO ONE can edit like I do. Same principles, I, as the artist and photographer, choose what I want to show off, and the tools that I use may be different from the tools another uses. Through the course of my ten years, and being self taught, I have learned many tricks and tools. My ways of using some tools are ways that were probably not meant to be used the way I choose to use them but, they work for me.
In my ten years, I have mentored many other photographers. Most of the time, there are deep friendships formed because of that mentoring, when photographers have reached out to me. I do not have a problem sharing my information, because again I go back to what I mentioned before, no one can shoot or edit like I do.
What I have found though in the past couple of years, is that many didn't know how to correct some things within their images. This often led to very lengthy instructions and layers to achieve, for example, diminishing the limey or the yellows within their images and replace it with the proper colors and tones. These questions were asked repeatedly, and I truly didn't mind and still don't. There were questions on skin tones, frequency separation and I could go on and on.
So, at the first of the year, with so many asking me the same questions and common denominators, I decided to lend a helping hand to many photographers. I have created actions with my fixes and the methods I use to fix color casts, frequency separation, skin tones, coloring and more. I have had other photographers, at different levels of knowledge and different genres of photography, testing what I am making. Time after time, these testers and customers keep coming back and saying, my gosh you made this simple and it fixes all that we ever find the need for plus some. You have cut my editing time in half, and I am now able to see color casts better because of these.
I made a twelve tones action, with some crazy tones in it (added at the top of this blog) and it includes 2 types of frequency separation and skin smoothing actions. I made a video and in that video I edited a flower. Yes, a flower using skin techniques and tones.
You see, anything that you capture becomes a portrait, whether it is a flower, person, insect or anything else. They all need to be treated as a portrait. They need to be edited in such a way that it shows the beauty that you, the photographer and artist, want the viewer to really see. I have used this method for years on my flowers, critters and people, without fail.
The reason I wrote this today is to maybe enlighten some that are overly protective of their knowledge and don’t want to take the time to really teach someone that would require a very minimal amount of time. I understand there are classes and mentoring options available to all of us now, but when you are in a closed Facebook group that is centered around learning, sharing and critiquing there should be no need to be that protective. Trust me when I say, they can't steal "levels, curves, hue and saturation" they learn to use them. They learn because you took the time to help the person. They didn't take ANYTHING away from you or your creativeness or your potential for customers or sales. They learned...they took what you suggested and learned. They did NOT take your idea, NOR your business, NOR your art, NOR your sales.
In the end, you brightened a world or an outlook, and touched someone possibly thousands of miles away. You may have just taken that photographer from thinking of themselves as horrible and given them some confidence to show their work, and took their learning to the next level. You may be instrumental in helping them know what they need to learn for the future.
So be kind to one another; no need to be rude, crude or hateful. We are a community of Artists... we need to be supporting, guiding and learning from one another.
I hope that as you read this, you gave some deep thoughts on the "art community" be it on Facebook, Facebook messenger, a closed group, in videos, or wherever, we are to inspire, uplift and support, NOT defeat.
So go today, tomorrow, this week, the month or year and start feeding our "art community" they need us more than ever to get to the next level.