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_MG_6817The digital age of photography means that there is a proliferation of frames taken suggests that its easy to forget what you have done and not take the picture to it’s rightful conclusion.

In my case taken to conclusion might mean that a picture ends up here on my blog, on my website, as an A3 sized print or an A2 sized print if the picture is exceptional.

To help me bring order to the editing process I use various smart collections in the Lightroom Library. A smart collection automatically brings together in one place all the pictures that are tagged in a particular way. Each photographer will require different criteria for output. The example below is just what I use for me.

The process is based on logic unfortunately as are all things to do with computers!!

Firstly you will need to create a Collection Set – this is just a container to hold a series of smart collections.

Once you have a collection set then you can add individual smart collections to it. The idea here is to edit or refine the numbers of pictures. I have 41,488 pictures in my Library as of today’s date. So as I create smart collections hopefully I am only working with the images that might go somewhere.

By using combinations of flags, stars and colour labels a very wide range of criteria can be selected. When you add in all the options in the Smart collection drop down menus then the world is your lobster!

This post is not intended to be a click by click guide how to create custom collections – see the link to the Adobe video below.

In my collection set I have:

Smart Collection No 1 only looks for any picture that is Flagged.

Smart Collection No 2 only looks for any picture that is Flagged and has a one star rating – it’s colour processing is finished.

Smart Collection No  3 only looks for any picture that is Flagged and has a two star rating – it’s B&W processing processing is finished.

Smart Collection No 4 only looks for any picture that is Flagged and has a three star rating – it’s Lith processing is finished.

Smart Collection No 5 only looks for any picture that is Flagged and has a four star rating – it’s Infra-red processing is finished.

Smart Collection No 6 only looks for any picture that is Flagged and has a red label – it’s been used on my blog .

Smart Collection No 7 only looks for any picture that is Flagged and has a Yellow label – it’s been used on my website.

Smart Collection No 8 only looks for any picture that is Flagged and has a Green label – it’s been printed for a talk.

Smart Collection No 9 only looks for any picture that is Flagged and has a Blue label – it’s been used in an article.

See this video by Julieanne Kost from Adobe that explains things in her usual straight forward way.

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/adobe-evangelists-julieanne-kost/lightroom-5-creating-custom-collections-of-images/

Once you get the principal you can use the same logic to refine pictures say for a distinctions application.

It also follows that I can find any combination of criteria so if I want to find what files have been processed as say Lith and then printed – all I need to search for is a flagged 3 star picture with a Green Label. It’s so simple even I understand it.

A big hello to all the new followers of my blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014

http://www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

The art of repetition

_MG_0112-EditClick on the picture, Hit F11 and then Cont + scroll your mouse wheel so the picture fills the monitor.

Getting on for nearly a year ago I did a post called “Allowing perception to mature” that was very well received, see it at andybeelfrps.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/allowing-perception-to-mature/

Here is another example of forgetting an interesting picture taken in an art gallery in The Hague last autumn.

The point about leaving pictures for a while (months or years) to mature before they are edited and processed helps you see them for what they really are good, bad or indifferent.

I was working on pictures I took yesterday evening well in to last night and felt by midnight that I could not see the wood for the trees because I was too close to the capture. Perception has not had time to mature. I will come back to them in a few months time and have a much better idea of the good, bad and indifferent amongst the 150 shots.

This post was called “The art of repetition” because of the repeated picture frames receding out of focus. They also repeat the idea of the main motif. Again there is a strong element of negative space in the picture – a repeating theme of mine.

As my photographic career has progressed more and more I take pictures “about” something not “of” the subject matter. I am photographer not a mobile camera operator!

A big hello to all the new followers of my blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014

http://www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

Old audio

_MG_7157-2Vinyl  the audio technology before – digital, DVD, Mini-disk, CD and cassette tape.

Did you buy CD’s of the same albums you had on Vinyl? I certainly did.

Just a close-up with a 150mm Macro lens at f2.8. For those of you who wonder, is anywhere in this picture sharp – yes at a reasonable size you can see the machining marks on the record spindle.

For me in this picture there is a good balance of suggestion and definition. As a preference I enjoy making pictures that hint at something and raise questions in the viewers mind rather than giving a definite statement.

“To suggest is to create, to define is to destroy” by Stephane Mallarme is a quote I have used many times on my blog.

A big hello to all the new followers of my blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014

http://www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

Netham Park enhancement

_MG_6996Wild flowers in their environment, high rise flats in the background.

Shallow depth of field at f2.8 to suggest shapes and let the viewer decide what the shapes are.

Question

Has anybody experience of getting raw files out of Aperture 3 and import them in to Lightroom 5? When trying to import these files directly in to Lr 5 the files are greyed out in the Mac finder??

A big hello to all the new followers of my blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014

http://www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

_MG_6944-Edit-2“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” 
— Aristotle

I am indebted to two friends for assistance with this post Rod Wainwright ARPS and Les Loosemore ARPS. Rod sent me the Aristotle quote and Les wrote to me about “the lens appropriately focussed on your next masterpiece”.

When I thanked Rod for the quote I said I would have to think about an appropriate picture to go with the words. This one came out of the blue.

Yesterday evening I went looking for more wild flowers to take, I knew where some are located in Netham Park in Bristol. Netham Park was the location of my first digital Lith print about five years ago. I also had the same lens on the camera a 70-200mm f 2.8. The setting sun provided the perfect back lighting.

By deliberate defocussing at f2.8 I am left with shape and tone – to me the elemental significance of trees.

A big hello to all the new followers of my blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014

http://www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

_MG_9450-EditYour camera does not know or understand you, what you want to say photographically, how you see, what you feel and think – it has NO visual and emotional intelligence. Sorry to say that it does not even love you. All it does is record the brightness of the light reflected on to the sensor.

So perhaps some thought might be given to controlling the light recording box to enable an end result that is visually interesting and communicates with the viewer at an emotional level. Photographic vision puts personality and emotion in to a picture frame.

What is the MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU need to change in your photography for YOU to make progress?

If the first thing you think of is – more or different pixels – then you should seriously consider why you take pictures. Henri Cartier-Bresson said in 1952 “for me technology has changed but photography remains the same”. It’s not what you’ve got but how you use it – your best camera is the one you have with you when a picture presents its self to you – if you have the perception to see it.

So to move from being a camera operator to a photographer a change of mindset is required.

Here are a few hints how photographers may progress, they think about and work on:

- deciding where their photography is now, its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats

- deciding how they want their pictures to change in the future

- what motivates them

- whose work inspires them and why

- finding one person’s opinion they trust and respect.

You and your photography are not tied to the past. Take this picture above called “The road to ….”. It was taken on a bright and sunny afternoon in Iceland. The file in the camera is only the starting point – not the end result.

See the unprocessed shot below._MG_9450

There are no right and wrong answers on this personal journey of self-discovery. What I offer is just faded fragments of a torn and dirty map from a fellow traveler.

I hope these few tips have been useful to your photographic practice.

A big hello to all the new followers of blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014

http://www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

 

After Stieglitz

_MG_6753-3Last week I went to the V&A in London and saw their current photography exhibition. Part of the show explored the idea of modernism in photography.

Alfred Stieglitz was the driving force behind the photo-succession in the US which put forward the idea that pictorial-ism was an old fashioned romantic idea largely based on the painting and not photography.

Trees (right) – Forest of Dean 2006 (after Alfred Stieglitz 1912) is purposely very dark. The diagonal composition is a recurring theme in my pictures. The lighting on the diagonal branch is as taken. To simplify the picture all I have done is darken around the subject matter – the diagonal branch.

A big hello to all the new followers of my blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014

http://www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

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