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From the author of Defining "Better"

Defining "Better"

Photography is one of several visual languages. Part of that language is spoken at capture, through the use of aperture, optics, shutter speed, composition, etc. And part of it is spoken during post-production, where we further enhance the mood and subtly direct the eye from one point to another to better tell the story. As with any language, you need to be comfortable with photography's verbs and nouns, adjectives and adverbs, etc. But it's just as important to know what you want to say and how best to say it.

Let me try another angle, this time from my book Vision & Voice: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Remember the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles? At one point the characters get turned around and head down the wrong lane of the highway, into oncoming traffic. People keep shouting at them, "You're going the wrong way!" They laugh and say, "How do they know where we're going?"

Exactly. And it's the same with post-production. Forget the question, "How do I make my image look better?" No one can tell you that, and no software can magically make it happen. Well, yes, it might look "better" than the low-contrast, poorly exposed image that your RAW file holds, but is "better" all you want from your images? Is it enough that your images just "suck less"? Isn't the point of all this to make it look, not just "better," but as close to our initial intent as possible?

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