As counterintuitive as it sounds, there is far too much focus on taking perfect photos. After all, what good is the perfect photo if no one sees it? Even if someone does see it, what aspect of perfection were you considering? You can take one that is tac sharp for the benefit of pixel peepers. But it could still be a lousy photo overall.
There are also the great photos we miss while in pursuit of the perfect one. We fiddle with knobs and settings to get just the right effect, only to find that the moment has been lost.
There is something refreshing about a simple camera with few features and a strongly worded motivator for us to just shut up and shoot. Of course, even if you manage to get perfect image capture, you are a long way from being done.
- How will you make changes to the image?
- How are you going to get that image off of the camera?
- With whom are you going to share that image?
- Where will you keep this image?
- How will you promote this image?
The art of editing is making bad pictures good, good pictures great, and great pictures immortal. To put it in less grandiose terms, to edit is to make changes. There are a lot of reasons a person might want to make changes, even to a perfect picture:
- Add a filter
- Crop an image to a particular size without losing information
- Match the style of other images in the set
- Remove or add a person or element
That is why there are so many articles on, “How to Install Lightroom Presets” and other editing shortcuts. People have legitimate reasons to make changes to their photos. Many of those changes have to be applied to hundreds of photos at a time. And many have to be repeated for certain situations.
Because most editing tools are so good, you almost don’t have to worry about the original capture of hobby photography. Just shut up and shoot. You can futz with all the settings later. So go ahead and shoot a hundred pictures of that event. Your next step is to edit the 10 that really matter.
One of the greatest tragedies of the digital camera age is that while people are taking a lot more pictures, most of those pictures just stay on the camera. Don’t laugh. Normal people have no idea how to get a picture from their camera or smartphone and onto something else for long-term storage.
The first thing the prosumer does is to move their photos from the camera onto something more permanent such as a hard drive or cloud storage. The average person is less familiar with those options, so don’t feel embarrassed if you aren’t familiar with these options. You are not the only one to ask what’s the best way to organize and store my digital photos?
The easiest thing to do is set up your smartphone to use the iCloud Photo Library or the Android equivalent, and let the storage happen automatically. There will likely be fees involved. Still, it is generally worth it to have all of your memories safe, searchable, and shareable at all times.
You can do the same with your digital cameras by saving them into the native photo repository on your computer and sending them to the cloud from there.
Pictures are meant to be shared and enjoyed. It may be time for you to grab an Instagram account. At the very least, you can actively post them on Facebook if that is your social media outlet of choice.
But there are even better ways of sharing photos with people you love. You can print them out, have photo books made from collections of your favorites, send greeting cards, or have trinkets made from them such as hats, t-shirts, and pins. Don’t leave them in the digital desert. Give them life in the real world where they can be enjoyed by someone every day.
The process doesn’t end with taking a perfect picture. That is where it begins. From there, you need to edit it to suit its destination. Store it in a safe place. And share it with someone you love.