PROJECT 04 EDIT FOR CON­SIS­TENCY

Digital Photograper - - Techniques -

Give your project co­he­sion in post

When you work on a per­sonal project, there must be some kind of con­nec­tion be­tween the im­ages so that they work not only in­di­vid­u­ally, but to­gether. As we’ve al­ready dis­cussed, that could be lo­ca­tion, sub­ject, a spe­cific theme or a pho­to­graphic tech­nique. How­ever, the way you edit the im­ages should also be con­sid­ered, as that too can bind im­ages to­gether into a co­he­sive col­lec­tion, even if the sub­ject or theme of the project may seem rather vague.

For ex­am­ple, if you de­cide to shoot a por­trait project, there must be con­sis­tency to how the im­ages look, other­wise it could be any old set of mugshots, with no un­der­ly­ing bond. If you shoot those por­traits us­ing the same light­ing and same back­ground, you have the con­nec­tion, but if you pho­to­graph peo­ple at work, or strangers in the street, it won’t be so easy to unify the im­ages as the set­ting and light­ing will dif­fer, as well as the lens you use.

That’s where edit­ing comes in. If you ap­ply the same edit­ing tech­niques to each image, you’ll im­me­di­ately bring them closer to­gether, even if they dif­fer in all other re­spects. This is es­pe­cially so when the fi­nal im­ages are black and white. There’s not a lot you can do to colour im­ages to make them all have the same look and feel if they’re shot in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions, with dif­fer­ent light­ing, but once you re­move that colour you’ve es­tab­lished an im­por­tant re­la­tion­ship be­tween the im­ages. Fur­ther steps can then be taken, per­haps by adding the same tone to the im­ages, crop­ping them all to a square, or adding a vi­gnette to the edges to draw at­ten­tion to­wards the main sub­ject. It doesn’t re­ally mat­ter what you do, pro­vid­ing you then stick to your guns and do the same thing to all im­ages in the col­lec­tion.

Th­ese moody black and white im­ages will give you an idea of what we mean. The sub­ject of the project is the old Amer­i­can cars that rum­ble down the streets of Ha­vana. They were shot in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions around the city, at dif­fer­ent times of day and dur­ing dif­fer­ent vis­its to Cuba, but the bold edit­ing out­lined in the tu­to­rial is what brings them to­gether.

DP

Top left HEAVY METAL This image has a won­der­ful metal­lic qual­ity to it thanksto the edit­ing tech­nique used for the project – the car and build­ings are al­most glow­ingwith light

Above top ON THE MOVE Pan­ning is a great tech­nique to use on mov­ing sub­jects as it adds a fan­tas­tic sense of mo­tion and makes the main sub­ject stand out boldly against the back­ground

Above CLAS­SIC CAR Shots like this are very quick and easy to take – it’s the edit­ing that makes the dif­fer­ence and adds co­he­sion to the imagecol­lec­tion

Below DAWN PA­TROL When the sub­ject of a project is quite spe­cific, you have to make a spe­cial ef­fort to pro­duce dif­fer­ent im­ages by ex­ploit­inglight, view­point, cam­era an­gle andlens choice

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