Would you like to watch me process your images LIVE?
Would you like to see how I would go about working on YOUR photos?
I approach processing how I compose an image – with the spirit and soul of an ARTIST.
Every image is unique. I work on bringing out the inherent qualities of each of my photos, playing with the image and experimenting with different approaches.
I love processing – it is such an exciting part of bringing images to life.
I want to help you not just learn new skills and techniques for processing – but the confidence to explore, experiment and PLAY!
Today in my new Light Monkeys Membership Program I am inviting members to send me their images.
I am going to be processing them LIVE in our Weekly Thursday Live Session.
I want to share my approach and techniques so everyone can learn new tips and ideas on how to go about processing like an artist.
I still have space for ‘Founding Members’ to join.
As a Founding Member you not only get the membership at a super awesome price (forever), but you also get the chance to work with me directly in the early stages so I can give you lots of direct feedback, advice and teaching.
As well as all the other incredible Member benefits like all of my ‘transformative’ online classes, community, weekly sessions + masterclasses.
I spend a lot of time processing my images. To me taking the photo is merely the start of the creation process.
Processing is a time to play and work and have fun with your images – to see what we can bring out to make them the very best photos they can be.
I started my career as a professional printer, back in the darkroom days, and I still use the same thought process and methodology that I developed then, even though the process has dramatically changed.
The most important thing being that you need to treat each image as the unique entity that it is – some need a little work, some need a lot.
That’s what the artistic approach is in my opinion, bringing your creative vision and experience to each photo to discover it’s inherent qualities.
I know a lot of people find processing intimidating, but in my teaching I am aim to demystify the process – and show you that once you get to know the tools there are infinite creative possibilities for you.
And the best way to get to know the tools is to use them! Have a play!
Here are some videos I made a little while ago that show you my approach. I think you’ll pick up some useful tips from them.
Hope you enjoyed those. If you want to dig in further with an artist-led processing approach, try my new course. It’s getting great reviews already.
The Art of Processing: 4 week recorded online course
Membership to The Art of Processing is currently closed.
If you’d like to be added to the waiting list, drop us an email at email@example.com, and you’ll be the first to know when we open more seats.
Before I became a professional photographer I was a professional printer in Los Angeles.
It’s a beautiful day here in Spain. The sun is warm, outside my window I can hear the sea rolling gently. My kids have had a fiesta-filled weekend with their new little community of friends. I am feeling inspired by some cool projects I’m working on with a new colleague. Life is good.
I head back to London soon to sort things out, do some business and run some workshops. I am also packing up and leaving my studio space that I’ve had for the past 15 years in Waterloo.
It feels a little sad to be leaving behind the most permanent space I’ve had in the city. But it also feels liberating. New adventures bring new opportunities, and so I am working to embrace them all.
One thing that has also been inspiring is writing about the technical and creative stories behind my photos. I am loving it! So I have another one for you today.
I hope you are all learning more about how I approach photography, and picking up ideas along the way.
I love nature. I forgot how much I loved it until I stayed in the hills of Tuscany for seven weeks. Living in London for 18 years, and Los Angeles before that, I really lost touch with the feeling you get of being surrounded by constant beauty – it brings me an elevated feeling of bliss.
I am not a “nature” photographer, but I am an artist. Going into the woods and trails around Castello Ristonchi left me feeling that I was out of my element even though my passion for the natural world was reawakened.
As a photographer, I didn’t know what to shoot. It was hard to simplify and isolate subjects in the complexity and deepness of nature.
But as a walked I realized that what I’d come to photograph would be there waiting for me. I didn’t need to be a “nature” photographer. I could just be myself – an artist.
Once that realization came to me I relaxed into the moment and started to really enjoy myself.
The image above is about that enjoyment and relaxed mood.
I came to the top of a hill and spotted this gloriously isolated tree. (I was hunting for something apart from all the complexity of nature). I stared at it for a while, then started to look around for elements I could add to the image I was constructing in my head.
I wanted depth. I wanted to capture the feeling of being on a hilltop. I wanted just a narrow so I was using my 50mm lens. I was not in a landscape frame of mind.
Doing landscapes is part of nature photography and I was out as an artist with vision, trying to be so.
I didn’t want to make an image that another skilled photographer could see and replicate easily. Much of landscape photography is just that. Not point and click, but obvious enough that anyone looking could see it right away and with a bit of skill capture it. Beauty is beauty after all. It’s not hard to miss.
I always seek to capture something a little different in my photos.
The top of the hill was fairly clear of clutter (i.e potential elements!) and it was refreshing coming out of the deep woods into a brightly lit meadow. I became pumped up; using all my senses. My eyes were searching for elements to build relationships with, my skin feeling the brisk air, my ears listening to the quiet, nose catching the smell of a coming storm.
Life was beautiful and the translation into my photos of those feelings was peaking.
I saw some small low branches with dried leaves of rich earth tones – the colours were captivating. I walked around them still thinking of my isolated tree. The light was truly inspiring.
I started shooting and thinking of the composition choices I was making. I was very close to the low branches and depth of field became an obstacle.
For some reason I was shooting very wide – f/2.0. I remember feeling that with the 50mm and a wide aperture I could decrease most complexity, making sharp lines into blurry gradations of tone.
I shot varying compositions but didn’t change my position much since it felt so right. It was mostly just orientation of the camera and change in focus – sometimes focused on the tree, sometimes on the branches.
I left with the feeling I got something I liked, but was not sure which image it would be. It was only a few days later after much editing and toing and froing that I decided on the image above. It had the right balance of tree and leaves and I liked the focus point.
I didn’t get encouraging feedback from Di. She didn’t like it at all…at first. I asked her yesterday if I should write a post about this image and she says “YES, I love that image!” She didn’t love it for a long time.
It makes me wonder about personal taste, and how things develop over time.
Me, l like it. But that is me, as the one who stood there on that glorious day experiencing it firsthand. We can be very partial to certain images because of emotional attachments to them.
Tread carefully and always ask others what they think.
I’d love to know what you think of this! Let me know below. What do you think of the composition?
Have a fantastic day everyone.
As always, if there is something I can help you with photo-wise let me know. Just hit reply. I love hearing from you.
My approach for my lightroom videos is to take one image show you how I took it from nice to wow! I am using my artistic eye here – I am not adhering to all of the tech-rules – like I do not care if I blow out all my blacks. For me it’s not the ‘rules’ that are important, my vision for the image is way more important.
I got tonnes of amazing feedback from my first video – thank you! One big point for many people was that I was rushing too much. So this video is longer and has fuller explanations of what I’m doing. Again I would love to know what you think. Please comment below or email me. The more I know what you want the more I can create videos and articles to help you.
In this video I take this image from this:
The video is packed with tips and suggestions that will help you develop advanced skills with Lightroom. I love processing my images – it’s super fun, so I hope you enjoy
Let me know if you have any questions or requests or thoughts – it’s great to hear from you.