Tutorial: Photo Dissection 1

Posted in art, misc, photography, tutorials on October 26th, 2010 by peeba

Preface

Recently a coworker of mine has been getting back into photography and I’ve spent some time advising him and talking about how I approach photography. When I started breaking down the thought processes and some of the post processing methods I’ve used, I realized it might be worth sharing. In this introspective post, which hopefully turns into a series if enough people find this information valuable, I take one of my photos and explore the thought processes behind it, how I shot the photo “on the field” and what did I do to it afterwards and for what purposes. This is not meant to be a step-by-step guide or a definite best approach to photography: I just try to share my approach to photography which happens to be comfortable for me. It might not work for you at all but at least I hope it will make for some interesting reading and prove that taking good photos is not an entirely random process. Whenever it is irrelevant, I will steer clear from purely technical aspects of photography, especially the gear, since there already is too much technology-wankery going on in the Internet regarding cameras. I also have to elaborate why I think whatever picture I pick is a good photograph and I hope that it is understood that I don’t mean to gloat. That being said, all my views are entirely subjective and it’s cool if you disagree with me on any of the points I present. Photography is hard to judge objectively and in this sense it really isn’t any different from any other forms of art. Which actually might be a pretty valid definition of art, by the way, but let’s not open that can of worms right now. ;)

Since this is first of its kind, I’d love to hear if there’s any feedback regarding the content or presentation of the article! Or if there are any questions that I left unanswered in the text.

Photo Dissection

Intro

For this first issue of Photo Dissection I picked this photo of some elderly people I shot in Shinjuku, Tokyo in 2006 (I shot the photograph, not the people… Just so that we’re clear) mostly for the convenient factor that I used this photo as an example in one of our discussions with the previously mentioned coworker earlier this week. It’s been a while already but I can remember the situation and the process behind this photo pretty clearly:

Of course this is just the final photo I ended up with but there’s a lot of things that you might not realize just by looking at the end result and that process of how I ended up with the final picture is the core of this article. So let’s dive in and see how I ended up with whatever that thing is that I ended up with… is! I love ugly sentences!

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