Over the weekend I saw a post by Derrick Story in Macworld come across my RSS feed, its title: “The 7-step edit in Aperture 3.4“. I rolled my eyes, saved it to Instapaper and went about my weekend.
Then my in-law said something interesting. She was talking to my sister-in-law and remarked: “Why are the pictures you post to Instagram always so grainy?”
(Side note: My sister-in-law, I am told, does what she calls “double-gramming”, wherein she applies a filter and screenshots the image with that filter, and then imports that screenshot to add another filter on it. Yeah, I shudder at that thought too.)
The response that my sister-in-law gave was all over the place, but amounted to “style”. The response from my in-law: “But wouldn’t you just want a nice clean image?”
Then I read Story’s post. His steps are common steps to take when editing an image, but they aren’t cookie cutter. And that’s what makes them useful.
A lot of people seem to struggle with photography, and specifically editing, because they forget that you can’t just snap a picture and apply a filter. You have to think about the image and see the final product before you take the photo. If you can’t do that, and I am as guilty as everyone, then you will end up with snapshots only.
Photography is both a technical skill and an art.
You need style, and it has to be your own style.