NEW COURSE: Wildlife Photo Editing Secrets Now On Sale


So I’m sitting in my office yesterday talking with my buddy Brian Matiash from onOne Software. I showed him a photo that I took last week and asked what he thought. He was like “Hey, that’s nice.”. Not “great”, not “awesome”. Just… “nice”. Here’s the thing. It was the reaction I expected because I wasn’t really enamored with the photo myself. So if I don’t love it, how can I expect some one else to? This brings me to my topic for today. When I took this photo, I thought the location was awesome. But now that I see it on the big screen and process it, I’m not that happy with it. When I was setting up the shot I loved the location… when I framed the photo and took some test photos I loved it… when the sun came up and I actually took the photos, I loved it. Basically, while I was on location, I loved everything about the photo. I even remember commenting to some one I was with saying “This ROCKS!”.

Here’s a larger version of the photo that I’m talking about (click to see it big on screen)

What Happened?
Now that I have it on my computer, I’m not crazy about it. I’m not sure what I don’t like (and by the way, this isn’t an invite to tell me all the things wrong with it) 😉
And no. It’s not the composition, it’s not the fact that there’s a rock right in the middle, it’s not anything in the reflection. I just don’t feel the same about it now, as I did then.

A Possible Explanation?
I posted this on my Google+ and Facebook pages yesterday. I had a few people that made a comment that stuck with me. Probably because it’s something I’ve told people before too. See, when you’re out on location taking photos, you have this immersive experience. It’s 3D. Your senses are overwhelmed. You see the sun coming up. You feel the breeze. You feel the peacefulness that was around the morning I was taking this photo. But when you finally get it on the computer, you lose all that. Part of what we do in post-processing is to help our photo get back to that place. It’s kinda like why we retouch portraits… we notice (in photos) all kinds of things that we never notice when talking to a person. Same goes for landscapes and nature photos. There’s so much going on, that we take it all in. When the photo hits the computer, though, now it’s 2D and we lose all that.

Sadly for me, all the post-processing in the world won’t make me love this photo. I want to… but I just don’t and I don’t know why.

I guess I’m just curious at this point. Does this ever happen to you? You capture a photo and you think it’s gonna be great. But when you see it large and start editing it, you’re just not that psyched about it anymore? Let me know your thoughts. Oh… and have a great weekend!

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