Blogging tips

Blog photography : it is ok to suck at it (at first)

8:37 PM

I have spent the past few months slowly going through the process of editing old blog posts. Because, when you have a blog that is over a decade old, a lot happens. In my case, lot of content looked drab and old.
Until about 2 years ago, I didn't even really keep any style consistency (I don't think I even knew a thing about it to be fair). This resulted in me having pictures of all sizes and formats all over the place. Some posts have large pictures, some have tiny thumbnails, some are square some are rectangle and last but not least some were taken with a crappy camera while others were taken with my point and shoot. Not to mention some had my blogspot URL serving as a watermark.

This travel back in blog time also made me realise one  big thing :

I utterly sucked at picture taking. And I mean SUCKED as in double, triple or even quadruple suck. There even was a time I thought editing pictures wasn't important (yeah right!), and yes maybe it wasn't back in those days. Right now I am only starting to touch the tip of the iceberg of the photographic hell that has unleashed on my blog and those pictures from only 1 or 2 years ago aren't even nearly as bad as the ones from before that (which I will tackle soon).

Post by post, I have been editing them in Photoshop, both on my iPad's version (which is free) and on the more heavy duty full fledged paid version I treated myself to just very recently (after a laptop update). Some of these pictures were so nasty that they were beyond the repair of a simple photo editing tool. Like this one:
I think we'll all agree this is not pretty: low resolution, low light pictures taken with the iPad 4 camera, edited in a very basic photo editing app and a watermark that pops more than the actual content I want you to see. Plus, it is rectangle, a format I don't really like anymore (at least not on the blog).

This picture was a bit too much of a mess for Photoshop Express (on the iPad) to handle, so I turned to my laptop and the full power of Photoshop CC to attempt to salvage it :
The rescued picture is by no mean perfect, it was still taken with a low resolution camera in low lighting. But you can probably notice it is already less of a sore eye. I managed to get as much as the noise as I possibly could without loosing too much definition and I made some of these ugly marks on the wall disappear (darn I wished getting rid of the actual real ones on the wall would be that easy).

The point of this whole post being that when you embark on a new venture, you will inevitably suck at time. And guess what? It is completely OK to suck. In fact, I think you should suck, because if you don't, you aren't going to learn to do things better.
If you really want to start taking pictures for your blog, dive right in. Don't wait to be an expert, don't wait until you can afford that digital SLR all seasoned bloggers tell you that you must own (they forgot to tell you they too took crappy pictures at one point).

To quote Nike : Just Do It!

Personally I'd just prefer seeing new bloggers take lousy pictures themselves than new bloggers lifting pictures off Google thinking they are all free to use and stealing the credit of those of us who dared learning to take pictures.

This editing process is a mammoth task at the moment. One that is both daunting and gratifying at the same time. I constantly shake my head wondering what I was even thinking back in the days. But guess what? I also feel I have come a very long way from even just a little over a year ago. I learned a lot, and grew and my photography skills got better along the way.

There is a real sense of accomplishment that comes from it. All this work, all this learning is MINE, I did it on my own, in my own time. By reading as much as I could, by watching videos and by experimenting with my camera and editing apps (yes I have more than one).

So, go grab that camera, any camera (your phone will do great) and take pictures. But most importantly, go suck at it, and accept that it is ok and that you WILL get better with time and practice...yes you will. 

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