Inspiration at the Headgate


As a professional photographer I think it is very important to keep moving forward, growing your skill, your craft and your passion. But, when those things are connected to a paycheck, somehow the fire seems to dim. Well today I got a little fuel added to my fire by Trey Ratcliff (see for his work). He has a series of tutorial videos for anybody interested in getting into photography, and the first one is free to watch so I watched it while I was eating lunch. As I was listening to him teach the very basics (and smugly thinking “I know that already”) it occurred to me that I wasn’t actually doing the entire process of photography, but am generally just pushing the button on the camera and if it isn’t Polaroid success then I just move on. Well, that seems to be the wrong approach, eh? You might say it is severely lacking inspiration.

So I decided to go outside in my own yard and poke around. I did my very own, solo photo walk. There are a bunch of side-by-side comparisons of the raw file before I did any processing, and then there is the way I have decided to finalize the images, at least for now. It is not unusual for me to revisit images a few months later for a fresh perspective.

The images following are the result of inspiration to do a particular thing, and that is take advantage of the depth of the raw file as much as possible, just using Lightroom. Because of that I ended up exploring the same subject from multiple points of view, and with a lens change as well. I was shooting with my Tamron 10-24 f3.5-4.5 at first, and later on switched to my Canon 28-135 f3.5-5.6.

In this instance I was using Trey as inspiration, but also trying to learn a little bit about how he thinks so that I can apply some of his techniques in my own process. I have to admit here that I have been too down on myself because of my aged equipment, which is no excuse. (For those interested, I’m shooting a Canon 30d and post with Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS3.) So take the images for what you will, and please ask any questions in the comments.

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