The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most. – John Ruskin
Digital photography has come a long way in the past decade. Photographers face the toughest competition ever. The Internet is inundated by stunning photos and sometimes it is even hard to differentiate the ones taken with an iPhone from the ones taken with the most sophisticated DSLR. How do you make yours stand out?
I am not sure what the recipe is but I can give you one piece of advice. Do not over-process your photos. A purplish sky or a bright orange skin tone can easily ruin your shot. Am I saying you shouldn’t spend time post processing your image? Absolutely not. It’s part of the fun. I use Lightroom 4 and I love it. The adjustments you can make are impressive. If you shoot raw, and I hope you do, you do have to post process. White balance, contrast, exposure, vibrance and noise reduction is where I start. Sometimes I could spend hours on an image. And by the way, I love the updated brush in Lightroom and I use it a lot.
I know it’s easy to get carried away with post-processing. If that happens, why not go all out? You could end up with a cool effect. Take a look at the NYC photos in this post. Do they look over-processed and unnatural? They sure do. But it’s pretty clear that I wanted to create a special effect, which turned out to be almost cartoonish.
Here is my advice: keep your post-processing at a minimum and try to do most of the work in the camera. Framing the photos correctly, using proper exposure and white balance for example can save you time later. Special effects are also cool and we all love colorful images as long as you make your intentions obvious.