…..another one of my personal ‘taboos’ regarding Digital Photography has been exorcised, so it seems. After much negativity on my part about the use of ‘other people’s’ work to enhance my own Photography, I now find myself using an assortment of presets and plug-ins to create my own vision.
The studio workshops – I partook in another one last week – and my 365 project have led me into the world of ‘other people’s’ work. The thing is that in the studio workshop a small group of photographers are shooting the same scene under the same lighting conditions with the same models and to produce the ‘same’ photographs is neither very exciting nor highly creative.
The 365 project, too, can be boring to simply click-a-pic-a-day and then upload. Flowers are flowers and unless I can do something to make that flower a little different, it remains just another flower.
After all, I am a People person and no two people are alike visually and in their behaviour, so that my excitement is titillated by the countless variations possible.
My presets and plug-ins collection has grown stealthily to DxO FilmPack 4, onOne Perfect Photo Suite 8, Topaz photoFXlab, not forgetting, of course, the Lightroom and Photoshop built-ins. The presets/plug-ins are never used straight ‘out of the box’ but are a starting point to get me to the point of my tweaking, producing and may be used in a melting-pot of combinations. I never save my work as a user/favourite preset because I never batch process or use the same twice. Each photograph is treated individually and may come in one or more variations.
The long and the short of it all, is that I’ve learned not to think of the presets and plug-ins as the end, but to use them simply as new tools in my creative palette and a means to the end.