PROJECT 04 EDIT FOR CONSISTENCY
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.
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