Darkroom Vs Lightroom

posted on 15th of november, 2010

I just completed 9000 downloads and record earnings on a single stock agency. I don’t think there could be a more appropriate time to write this blog. Since I never learnt photography nor was I ever inclined to know the traditional ways of composition or techniques I always found it wrong to address this serious issue which I was unable to discuss with traditional practitioners. After almost 5 years being in the business I feel I can let out some frustration and understanding about photography and how it differs when you do it commercially instead as a hobby.

The most important thing that changed for me after starting to sell images was my choice of a shoot. I suddenly stopped clicking pictures I knew that won’t sell or maybe those which could sell but not at that quality which the situation provided me. I found no point in taking a picture for fun. Earlier I regretted this a lot as an artist. I thought the commercial aspect was curbing my creativity, but I was totally wrong. After say 2 years, I could still get the frames that I ignored with a better perspective and a commercial value. I feel if not art our time is as valuable in life. We might not be interested in earning a lot from our art at a certain time, but when we realize that we can fund the art itself from earnings we start getting serious. Better equipment and accessories surely mean more quality. If this all is bought from the art’s earnings it might ease the load on our regular income which might go to routine living expenses.

Entering stock was about quality standards which meant ‘no noise’, ‘crisp sharpness’, ‘nice colors’ and mainly ‘artistic & saleable’. Shortly since I don’t click any images that require a very high shutter speed I got obsessed with lower ISOs as I always was. None of my image exceeds 100 ISO except for a handful that were lucky to be shot at 200 ISO. This gave me a lot of discipline in terms of holding a camera still for low light pictures that too without a tripod. Though I bought a good tripod later, I still avoided using it unless it was a real long exposure.

This then brings me to another important topic which actually is the title of my blog. What changed during recent years from the past? Most importantly it is the number of photographers that have sprung up from nowhere and majority of them are taking a formal training. Is it because the prices of camera’s crashed??? No I don’t feel so. The SLR still comes in similar price ranges. There are two other major reasons for the change. One, there is a lot of variety available from consumer cameras to SLRs and second, there is no cost of buying a roll, developing and printing involved. If there are 100 photographers today 95% of them don’t even know DARKROOM or the techniques, maybe that’s why Adobe found LIGHTROOM a more marketable name.

With digital cameras having a good automated processing, enhanced colors everyone who clicks starts feeling that he/she is a great photographer. It is positive initially but wasn’t for the photography industry. This was proved when in initial years prices fell due to cheap photographs available in market from amateurs. With photography courses on the prowl there are frequent exhibitions / expositions. One never wonders to look at the technical quality of the pictures in terms of full size viewing.

Generally if 100 (good) photographers are given a single subject, 80% from them who had a course on photography will click similar picture. The rest 20 will click a different picture with more creativity put in, but will it be a sharp shot and good one at 100% viewing size? No one would care especially because they will pass off saying they are not here to sell their art, they are doing it as a hobby. Then why aren’t the real hobbyists taking the view size as lightly as they are?

If any kind of artform has to be saved a serious note and understanding has to be taken by a non-buying audience about the quality of the photography they might get to see with awe. Serious buyers wouldn’t surely miss factors like grain, sharpness and the overall frame. I hate using the term composition these days because the more time I spent in photography the more I realized I could play with people’s mind about composition. Though there were strict composition rules or layouts, they don’t exist any much more. I had many rejections in my initial days of photography till I remained adamant to show my composition structures which were proved by the sales. There was something unique and original about those.

I think all photographers, professionals and hobbyists should try to look beyond their equipment into darkroom and lightroom and explore more possibilities of better pictures using graphic editing softwares like photoshop. If one really surveys it will be found that almost everyone is clicking the same kind of frame and getting the right colors, but are they looking perfect at 100% blowup? Does one know the importance of sharpness or grain? Printing has been a history to me now. I have 40 DVDs containing my photography of last 5 years, but there is not a single image from it that I have printed yet. Never thought of doing that, and maybe never will. This will save paper too. Before printing any images from digital photography also keep in mind the GREEN VALUE of saving paper. The photos we print we don’t see more than 50 times in life. You might as well see them on your TV /computer screens. I can agree that some blowouts and family portraits could be printed for your house interior enhancement.

This blog was not about criticizing any amateur photographers, it was just my view for photographers who really want to feel good about their work… especially with digital photography where everything should be less dependent on your camera processors and more about your post-processing. When we have got rid of the hard-work required in DARKROOM it doesn’t mean we should leave everything to machines and leave everything to the LIGHTROOM. Freak out and create your new rules and be unique! Whether you have a D-SLR or a normal consumer camera does matter but not for creativity. No one can tell this to you better than me knowing that my best-sellers and a high amount of my portfolio images are the one taken from consumer cams randomly, just because they are easy to carry anywhere!


Comments (20)

Posted by Cienpiesnf on December 08, 2010
Great blog!!! Thank you for sharing :)
Posted by FabioConcetta on December 07, 2010
Interesting blog,congratulations :)
Posted by Thefinalmiracle on November 25, 2010
Thanks Everyone!
Posted by Creativei on November 25, 2010
nice blog, good one................
Posted by Ziprashantzi on November 19, 2010
nice article. nice work.
Posted by Scottysally2 on November 16, 2010
This is a great blog, you have certainly worked hard, congratulations on your milestone too, and thanks for the inspiration. :)
Posted by Mariaam on November 16, 2010
Thanks for sharing! Great blog article!
Posted by Thanatonautii on November 16, 2010
Great blog! Congratulations for your milestone!
Posted by Sobek85 on November 16, 2010
well done
Posted by Catarii on November 16, 2010
This is a very nice article and it points mostly what i feel and think about my work.

Taking pictures for your soul and taking pictures to sell them... What a fight inside yourself. :) Got to find a balance at some point, in order to be able to be happy with what you do. Or, if not happy, at least satisfied.

Well, keep up the nice work you do :)
Posted by Nikitu on November 16, 2010
Congrats on the 9000 mark.
This is a great blog not only for those who are just starting out but for anyone wanting to improve his/hers technique.
Posted by Crystofurr on November 16, 2010
Great blog. Proves a point what inspiration, hard work, and diligence will reward you.
Posted by Justmeyo on November 16, 2010
Great article ,thank you for sharing us!
Posted by Faizanfaiz on November 16, 2010
Beautiful Photos and a great article. very inspiring indeed
Posted by Mary981 on November 15, 2010
thank you for sharing, enjoyed reading your article!
Posted by Laurasinelle on November 15, 2010
I totaly agree with you, thanks for sharing!
Posted by Trottola on November 15, 2010
Interesting blong and beautiful colorful pictures!
Posted by Halilin on November 15, 2010
I agree with you and thank you for sharing your experiences...
Posted by Cristalloid on November 15, 2010
Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)
Posted by Swamin on November 15, 2010
nice blog. That is why, I shoot in RAW and post process it in camera RAW.

Comments (20)

This article has been read 2239 times. 8 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Nikhil Gangavane.

About me

FACEBOOK - http://www.facebook.com/thefinalmiracle TWITTER - http://www.twitter.com/thefinalmiracle I never try to know in which genre my art finds its place in, I just create things that make a most qualified person and a common man feel the same level of ecstasy that I feel at the time of creation I would be grateful if the buyers of my photographs or illustrations let me know how and where my work is used.

Pune, IN

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