I know, I know….it’s weird. But I love my computer.
Admit it, you love yours too.
I miss it. See, I was in Costa Rica last February, and the day before leaving I realized I was soon to be re-united. And that put a smile on my face.
My old familiar friend and I….with all the brushes, actions, workspace, etc etc
Like an old tool, one that you get comfortable with. The way a wood carver knows his favorite chisel.
Or a painter knows his favorite brushes.
Me thinks, for those old timers and endlessly sentimental old school types, this is part of the same area in our brain that yearns for the darkroom days.
Personally I could never understand why anyone would want to return to the old smelly, wet days of the darkroom.
I have many heartfelt memories myself, having worked in the dark for many years. But when technology moved ahead, I dropped it faster than a lump of burning hot coal.
You could say the computer is the new darkroom, and you’d be right. And you could say, in a sense, that I still am working in a similar environment, and you’d also be right.
So in a sense, nothing has changed. I still love working in the darkroom.
Minus the safe lights, that familiar quasi-darkness and the never ending smell of acetic acid and stop bath.
One cool thing about the “darkroom” is the fact that this is where many of us hone our basic skills…we get good at seeing the composition, the lighting, the colors, tones and most especially, we get good at reading tonal range and exposure.
Sadly, this experience is either lost, or replaced by the endless flow of new photographers who default to photoshop plugins, actions or the easy road that Lightroom and all it’s magical allure presents to us.
My advice? Keep shooting, keep workflowing, and as hard as it is to embrace, learn photoshop over lightroom.
Nothing wrong with lightroom, but like one speaker said in a recent conference: “Lightroom is for those who don’t know photoshop.”
There is an element of truth to that statement. And I agree.
(For those who know photoshop, but smartly use lightroom for high volume workflow strategies, don’t take offense. I get it.)
You miss out on honing your core skills of understanding the way a “negative” works, the way we used to understand it way back in the day, from years of loading them into the enlarger.
This process gets lost. And you risk missing out on the added element that is, in my oh so humble yet accurate opinion, learning photography at a much deeper level.
If you want to gain the experiences gained by working in the darkroom, the way Ansel Adams and others mastered there images, you need to return to the strategies used by people like him.
Brought to you by fumbling though years in the dark.
Robert N. Provencher – Your Master Coach Marketer
“If you want to be a profitable and successful photographer, then study profitable and successful photographers.”
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