Process - Part 1

"The Negative is the score, the print is the performance." - Ansel Adams


Not quite the same in the digital age, but this is very much the idea behind the process I use for creating images. In my case the raw file is the negative and my "print" is the edited, saved and stored file that finds its way onto the websites of picture libraries and hopefully onto the websites and into the magazines and brochures of clients.


Its something we do as photographers these days, combining our instinctive compositional skills "in the field", with our editing and visualisation abilities when we get our digital files home. This is very similar to the way Ansel Adams worked. He developed a system for exposure and development and printed his own work. So in many ways he was working in a similar way to how we work as photographers today. He controlled the whole process from picture taking to print production, so when you see an Ansel Adams picture you know that the end result is almost totally his. Not 100%, as I don't believe he built his own cameras and lenses and manufactured the film, but close enough.


I've put together some photo slideshows to show what my "negatives" are from a typical shoot and then post examples of some of the edited versions that I've created from this raw material. When the images that I decide are worth working with emerge from Photoshop, they can look somewhat different, and though this part of the process is something I enjoy far less than actually taking the pictures, it can be very satisfactory to produce what you have visualised when pressing the shutter. That is still very important to me and I often take a picture and make mental notes of what I want to do with the image. 


Here's the first slideshow of pictures I took a few days ago.





All images shot with a Leica M9 and Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 Classic Lens. These are unaltered out of camera jpgs.


Here are some edited images from that batch. 

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Images - David and Ann