Turning Images Into Pictures

Covered Bridge in Lancaster County Park


Images are taken but pictures are made!  That might seem like a very bold statement, but allow me to explain.  Photography has been a fun, learning, and rewarding experience in my life for more than 30 years.  Through the course of this article I will share some of my thoughts and ideas with you.  Then you should be able to understand my reasoning behind the opening statement.

How many times have you viewed pictures somewhere and said to yourself, "Wow!  I wish that it was me that had taken this great photograph?"  If you are like me the answer is too often.  Let me try to shed some light about what this means.  Looking at pictures is an excellent way to get ideas about how a certain item should be examined to make the picture pleasing.  In doing this you will spend more time behind the camera trying to replicate the photos you have viewed.  Good things will come to you as you become more familiar with your camera.             

Before an image can become a picture and becomes published it must go through 1 or more manipulations.  Some of these include cropping, re-sizing, color enhancement, contrast balance, composition and some tough scrutiny by photographers or editors.  Just think about how often the shutter was clicked on a subject before one image was used to produce the final picture.  As you can see this is a very detailed process. 

The image above was re-sized, straightened, contrasted, captions added, and straightened.  This was done quickly in order to meet a deadline.  If this photograph was going to be entered in some kind of judging contest it would have to have more intense scrutiny to make the picture "pop".

I don't want to take anything away from any photographer whether they be an amateur or a seasoned professional.  Everyone who totes a camera is in pursuit of getting that prized photograph.  People who are good at this craft are skilled due to many hours of study and much time working with the camera and now even the computer.  

Ansel Adams was one of the greatest landscape photographers who ever lived.  He even manipulated the images he took.  All of his manipulation was done in the darkroom by varying the amount of light projected on each area of the photo paper during printing process.  As kind of a fun fact, Ansel Adams used a microwave oven to help dry his finished prints. 

It should now be relatively easy to understand my reasoning behind the opening statement. Remember to keep in mind that "Images are taken and pictures are made".  Referring to this will help you to become a better photographer.