“Smile of the Inner City – Revisited” – Jalisco, MX
© Doug van Kampen, 2013 :: All Rights Reserved
Having given a fair amount of thought to what I’d like to do after my government job, I often think of this image, which I made while on deployment in South America. Depicting a child at her most vulnerable, she lit up in front of the camera as if there was a kindred moment the two of us experienced apart from what was going on around us. The city, with a multitude of distractions – horns honking, people yelling, shop-keepers filling the daily needs of their customers, children of those customers playing in the streets as the sun goes down and the day hurries itself to end…
As I pointed out before, “Sometimes a scene crosses your lens with such grace, you can’t help but feel the need to capture it. The places of the world and the people that make up them often afford me such opportunities, which by their very nature leave me wanting no more at that single moment; I am simply and quite honestly, content. It is not until later, when I’ve had a chance to go over in my head what has happened within me, how the photograph I made has changed my soul, and how I take those changes and continue on, honing my craft and carving out a niche in my mind of what I desire my craft to provide to others. I can spend all day making photographs and not come up with anything I would call noteworthy and then a photograph like this materializes in front of me and it all seems worth it.”
I got to thinking about this image the other day after recounting my recent experiences in Costa Rica. The processing I completed on the first go round was missing something…there was something about it that stirred me, that left me wanting more. Contrast in this case. It’s that moment you look at one of your images and say to yourself, “What does this need?”
I have a particular workflow that I use when importing images into Lightroom:
- Importing – I import all my images as DNG files and save them to two(2) locations, one for a backup, which I don’t edit and another for the working copies from which I’ll make changes. Also, when importing images, I zero out all settings using a preset I’ve made; this gives me a blank canvas to work with, if you will.
- Keep/Toss – I do a quick run through on all the images I’ve imported and mark them either to ‘Pick’ (P), ‘Reject’ (X), or come back to (Color Label Green or 8 on the keyboard).
- I then proceed to step away from Lightroom for at least a couple of days and come back to these images with fresh eyes.
More on the editing process later.
I have found that over the years, as with most things, coming back to something (sometimes even years later) enables my mind to process things I may not have seen before. The beauty in this lies in the details, those small things that escape us when we’re in a hurry or worse, on a deadline. Taking an adequate amount of time to review your images will reep it’s benefits in the long run, forcing your mind to think critically about what the story is behind each and every scene you encounter. Before long, you’ll undertake each shutter click, each photographic journey and endeavor, with eyes for the world in which you want others to be immersed in. Food for thought… -DvK