When I first got back into still photography, after 4 exclusive years with video, I shot everything in black and white. Everything. It didn’t matter if the color inspired me to take the photo, it all came out black and white. I’m quite certain it was a side effect of finding The Art of Photography and having Ted introduce me to the works of some of photography’s masters, ie Cartier-Bresson, Fan Ho, Brassaï, Adams and so on. Prior to discovering Ted’s channel, I had studied almost nothing about the craft. The only things I knew were the things I needed to know to work a camera and to create photographs, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, focal length, and that’s about it.
Flash forward to now, and while I am no more accomplished as a photographer, I do like to think I am more knowledgable. But who doesn’t like to think they know more than someone, even if it is just their previous self? Right?! Riiiight… Regardless, I have been concentrating on color photography for about two years, which can be broken down into two distinct stages.
Stage One consisted of Adobe Lightroom and Mastin Labs presets. Admittedly, this stage was more about seeing the colors while shooting than tweaking them in post. I had grown tired of post-production, so I just slapped a Portra preset on my photos and kept it moving. After about a year of that, I became fed up with Lightroom’s yearly subscription and began to look at other options for photography software. After extensive research and review watching, I decided on Capture One, made by Phase One. I all but stopped using presets and decided to custom grade all of my photographs. This single decision has led to the most noticeable improvement of my photography to date. The purchase of Capture One was the beginning of Stage Two, my current photographic phase.
To be continued…