A couple of days ago, I wrote a poem entitled, “Let Me See.” It’s basically a conversation with God, asking Him to let me see myself, who I am, through His eyes. The answer became clear after I needed to email a potential client the image below. They wanted Before & After shots to judge my editing skills.
I’ve been so used to seeing the After shot that I forgot about how it looked Before. The finished image started out like that? Yes, it did. 🙂 That’s when I saw the contrast. I see myself as Before. God sees me as After.
This scene started out bland. The question became: How can I make it extraordinary? That’s when I go through trial & error. Deepen the shadows. Boost the highlights. Change the color tone. Adjust the mid-tones. It’s all a dance. You have to find the right balance between all these elements.
Initially, the edits didn’t look right. And if one thing is off, it may throw off everything else. Sometimes, I’ll get so frustrated with an edit I’ll have to scrap all the changes and start over. There’s no straight line to success. I find this to be true in life, as well.
Also, especially in this instance, it’s important to see what a scene can be opposed to what it is. Without editing, this photo isn’t presentable to anyone. However, that doesn’t mean toss it out. As I looked through all the photos taken, this one jumped out at me. I liked the composition. It just needed a little… maybe a lot of work! But it’s a start.
Ultimately, that’s where I am. Transitioning from Before to a happily ever After. Funny thing is, when people see the finished image they’re like: “Wow, Eric! You must have been on a professional set with all the best lighting and equipment..” Umm… No. 🙂
I had an idea. I wanted to try it out. Someone gave me the opportunity and I used what I had. If I would have waited for the situation to be perfect, this scene would not exist.
Eric Christopher Jackson