Daily Practice with Yellow Squash

Yellow Squash - after

Who takes a trip to the gulf coast and makes images of yellow squash at a farmer’s market?

I do!

And why would I do that?


Daily Practice

Something I have always tried to do is practice my art everyday. Some days it means going out and shooting images. On other days it is sitting here at the computer processing images. Lately it may be writing, and often is a combination of all my artistic endeavors.

The important thing is practicing art every day.

Even before I read this article by author Jeff Goins I was looking for ways to practice every day.

Daily practice is hard, especially if you are doing it alone. Then I discovered this great concept of practicing in public. It was really more of a shift in perspective. A move away from self-promotion, which is distasteful but necessary, to more sharing the progress and results of your art.

Jeff Goins writes:

If you’re serious about your art, share it. Every day. In public. This is how you get good at your craft and how you ultimately build an audience that will want to buy your work.

And so, I committed to myself to the daily practice of my art, and to practice in public by:

Today’s Practice in Public Result

The image below is what came straight out of the camera (SOOC). I processed it using Lightroom and Luminar2018 to get the image above.

Yellow Squash - before - daily practice

The image isn’t bad without processing, but there isn’t a camera and lens around that is able to capture everything your eyes can see. Some bit of detail, light, texture, color, or tone will usually be missing or just not what your own vision captures. In spite of all the electronic wizardry contained in today’s cameras, what is recorded on the sensor is still at best a very close approximation. An algorithmically formulated guess.

I’m fine with that. A camera on its own can produce great images. The art; however, is in the processing.

This has always been true. Processing used to be done in a darkroom using light, filters, manipulation, and chemicals. Today’s darkroom is a computer where we use light, filters, and manipulation. The only thing missing is the chemicals.

Luminar 2018 is new to me, and I use primarily as a plug-in with Lightroom. Using them together I was able to bring this in camera image back to what I actually saw. The details, tones, color, and in particular the texture of the squash. It could have been done in Lightroom alone, but Luminar has some filters and tools that I haven’t found in Lightroom.

I should have written down my step-by-step process to share with you. That’s not something I normally do, but I will try to remember in the future. If you do have questions about my process you can email them to me or leave a comment and together we can discover new ways to practice our art.

Thanks for reading.

This finished image is available in my gallery:

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