As a part of April revisiting One Four Challenge, for this week I decided to share edits that gave me most trouble. Some were time-consuming, others were dead-ends of my creativity and some I still consider cheating.
Week Two of November falls into the last category – “cheats”. One of the first times I used FotoSketcher, I had the hardest time deciding to stick with it. Imitating art is just that, imitating. Or not? I like this final result, softness against the dark background, almost abstract crop, painterly texture. It would be hard to connect it with the original, but does that make it photography? Or digital art? Or something completely else? I struggle with the concept of digital enhancement, not in general, but concerning my images. Because, I feel with all the post-processing, I am masking the lack of quality. So, the struggle still remains…
November Week 2
Week Two of December brings completely different set of struggles. My own personal taste against the others. I was sure this one would be received well, but it was not. There was no real negative feedback, people just weren’t as ecstatic about it as I expected. So, you start doubting yourself. Am I good enough? What is good enough? Should I do things to get people to like me more? Should I stick to my own creative path? I am sure we all struggle with the same doubts and I do believe we need to question ourselves for many reasons…to improve, grow or just reassure our own believes. This one helped me to realize I’ll never be good enough for everyone. I just need to be good enough for myself.
December Week 2
Next bit of struggle came with Week 4 of January. This one was well received and I like it very much. The struggle was more of a technical nature. As I use very simple editing programs, sometimes I need to work very hard to create something I imagined beforehand. Trying to tell a different story with every edit can sometimes pose a challenge in itself. Being a storyteller, I always push for another dimension with my images, I want my viewers to see a story in the background. So, I decided to create an underwater image…ever the overachiever. I pulled it out, but the work I put into it is not easily observed in this final version. So many layers, concerns about lightning, imaginary movement, colors…it wasn’t the easiest edit I’ve done. But, another valuable lesson came out of it – when you work so hard, you cherish it the most.
January Week 4
Another technically challenging image, this time from February Week Four. I worked very hard on this one, trying to shift focus from the gates to the space behind, bicycles and pots of flowers. I used GIMP, PicMonkey and PixlrExpress, jumping from one to the other in countless steps, forgetting what I was doing along the was. That is one of the reasons I rarely explain my post-processing, it is hard to keep track of various things I do. Regardless those countless steps, I still don’t quite like it. When I compare it to other versions from February, I can appreciate it more, because I see clearly what I wanted to do. But it doesn’t stand on its own. Too dark, too yellowish…you can’t really rescue something that was never there. That is another lesson.
February Week 4
I was very vocal about my dislike for the March image, like somebody else forced me to edit it in four different ways. I hit the rock bottom in Week Two, as I was desperate to produce something beautiful and different. I worked for days and was getting nowhere, this one falls into a “dead-end” category. The biggest thing that lacked in this edit was me. My creativity, imagination, everything went out the window. The only thing that was left was determination. So, I walked away from it, came back and managed to do something with it. To this day, it is probably one image I like the least, but it opened the way for probably my favorite edit in the later weeks. This is the lesson I learned many years ago – never give up. When you face the wall, climb. When you fall, get up. When you are tired, take a break. But keep going, no matter what. And in your darkest hour, when everything is far from reach, never stop dreaming.
March Week 2
It was never my intention to turn this post into a psychological analysis of post-processing side-effects. But as I set down to write it, the wisdom of my elders washed over me like cherished memories wash over doubtful souls…
Everything in life is a lesson. You just need to learn from it.