Dear Looker, photography is dishonest
In the comments of yesterday’s photoblogging thread, Looker asked why, when he takes photos of plain old stuff, it looks like plain old stuff. My answer is that he’s probably looking at the actual photograph he took, not the photo it could be.
For instance this is a crappy photograph:
This is better:
Unlike the photo on top which is a an uncorrected RAW export of the full original image to JPG format, the photo on the bottom crops out all the extraneous stuff possible, uses the rule of thirds to put the barred window on the bottom right, steps the exposure down about half a stop, warms the color temperature about 500°, and alters the color balance.
If I really wanted to spend the extra time to make it dramatic—and, now that I’ve done it, I wish I would have—I could’ve done this:
This, by the way, is why you shoot in RAW format. You can fiddle with stuff as much as you want, and fiddling around in RAW is non-destructive. You can always recover the image as it was when it came out of the camera, no matter what you do to it. The only drawback is that the RAW image is about 6 times larger than a JPG, which, at 12.1 megapixel, translates to about 20MB per image.
So, I carry 4 32GB SD cards, and shoot as much as I want. Disk space is cheap.
Here are some more examples of dishonesty, when compared to the photos in the previous post. Here are the originals of two more images from the previous photoblogging post: