Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What Are The Best Photographs Ever?

I'd like you to name your all time favourite photographs by someone else - the top of the top, the supreme, the wonderful, the magic.

Here's why. I want to see if we can learn anything from these images - are there threads of consistency - about subject or approach, project vs. one off, obvious message or not, etc..

I think a number of us would list Edward Weston's Pepper #30 as one of those top ten photographs, despite its mundane subject and lack of political message, but you can't infer much from a single image, so bring em on, what are your top 10 outstanding choices.

Why not open it to images of yours? Simple. You might think it's because I don't think you can make an image that good but you'd be wrong - it's just that we have emotional attachments to images of our own which may not be apparent to others and that is going to confuse and analysis of common threads.

If you can supply a url that will take us to each image, even better, we can look them up.

Come on, enlighten us, surprise us, shock us with your all time favourite photographs.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Image Editing Video

The second image editing video is up, showing the use of Selective Color Adjustment Layer to fix a specific problem without creating more problems than I'm fixing.

Athabasca Edit 2

I should have Edit 3 up later tonight as I fix the water.


Monday, February 14, 2011


There are now a total of four videos on youtube

1) is a brief description of the three books I have written, to a background of me out shooting.
2) is a slideshow of images selected from those I made in 2010.
3) is a more detailed description of "Why Photographs Work" and includes 8 of the images from the book.
4) is my first editing video - this takes my athabasca falls image and shows the adjustments I make in camera raw, then an analysis of the image on what needs to be fixed or improved. Subsequent videos (not yet made) will take you through the changes I make, from cropping to colour adjustment, contrast enhancement, fixing highlights and shadows, and fine tuning an image.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Second Edition of Take Your Photography...

My publisher has asked me to do a second edition of Take Your Photography To The Next Level. I have made it clear that I'm not prepared to label it a second edition without substantially improving the book - at least a couple of new chapters, expanded text, more pointers and better resources. My challenge now is to deliver on this stand before the end of July.

I have some sense of where I'm going with this but am definitely open to suggestions from those who have read the book and liked it and more especially found it useful.

You can either comment on this blog entry or email me directly through the contact on my website. The latter allows for more detailed suggestions and also some privacy, as well as giving me your email address so that I can respond to you, perhaps with some questions or discussion on your suggestions.



Thursday, February 03, 2011

Lightroom For Editing?

Frank Field commented on my use of Lightroom, saying he's gone the opposite way - using Photoshop for his editing.

Let me make it clear - I was referring to the use of Lightroom for organizing my images, not editing them. More specifically, after watching the Luminous Landscape tutorial, I am even more convinced that the point of Lightroom is to make editing easier, not better, and as I've said many times, fine art photography is always about better. Easier is a distant second.

I do pay attention to easier - the whole digital workflow is what has made me sufficiently productive to get published and write books and for someone who has to edit a lot of images, Lightroom may be exactly what they need.

For example, they show editing of an image of a nearby hillside and distant hills. They want to balance the brightness of the two and use two different gradients, and it gets close, but you can still see that the blend is not perfect. Then they use local adjustments and fancy masking, and still don't fix all of the problems that the gradients caused. I could have fixed the whole thing in seconds with a curves adjustment layer and skip the gradients. OK, I have some skill in using gradients, but I argue in my second book, From Camera To Computer, that it is better to use a few tools really well, than dozens with less skill - especially when working on one image as opposed to dozens or even hundreds. It's the difference between getting a single image fantastic and getting a whole wedding shoot really good.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


After procrastinating for years, I'm determined to start using Lightroom to catalogue my images properly. A new computer and even more hard drives has pretty much forced me into this.

I'm almost finished the superb Lightroom 3 Tutorial Videos from Luminous Landscape, more than 8 hours of invaluable information. I'm starting with the importing of all my raw files (some I haven't seen in years) and most importantly, adding keywords to them so all the images from each imported folder can be found, then more keywords for smaller groups of images.

I'm also looking into using Lightroom and an add-on website publisher from Photographers-toolbox to link to my Rapidweaver website - to automate updating my web images through lightroom and to better control the size of images on various sizes of screen.

Video On Youtube

I've just uploaded my first video to youtube. It's short and simply describes the three books I have written, but it shows me out photographing at one of my favourite local spots. You might be slightly entertained.

Can't sort out the link from the office but if you do a youtube search for George Barr Fine Art Photography, you'll find it.