Once a month, Stacy at Visual Venturing has this One Photo Focus challenge. She would pick a photo, and everyone would edit and submit it back to her, and then she would post all the editing results on her blog. I have been reading Stacy’s blog for a while and found this challenge quite educational. Since I am not good at post processing, only familiar with 5 simple commands, I had never dreamed of participating.
But this month is different. The photo Stacy has chosen is one of Cee’s photos. I know Cee well enough to know that she wouldn’t mind if I messed up her photo, so I signed up.
The first night I received this photo, I played with it the whole night: cropping, sharpening, converting it to black and white… etc. I created 5 variations of it, but I didn’t like any. Next day, I played the whole day, created more variations. Still, I didn’t like any.
A week or two later, I didn’t make any progress. Time to surrender, I thought. I emailed Stacy telling her it was harder than I thought and letting her know that I officially gave up. Stacy encouraged me to go back to look at previous One Photo Focus posts. “Remember, you CAN crop anyway you want. You can change it in any way you want. It’s all up to your creative eye”, she said.
It just happened that Ben at Aperture64 posted a couple of basic Photoshop tutorials during this time frame. With the new knowledge I have gained from reading Ben’s post, I went back to work on Cee’s photo again. And I submitted.
It’s not an impressive one, I know. But I am ok with it. The real reason that I’m writing this post is that I want to share with you what I have learned in this experience.
• It’s harder to edit someone else’s photo. Knowingly or not, when I took a photo, I, actually, connected to whatever in the photo. Working on someone else’s photo, I need to be patient and take time to connect to it. (Maybe this is just me, but here I am sharing my experience with you.)
• Stacy has created a friendly environment for us to experiment. I should take advantage of it (for my own sake). 😉
• Like I said, I have looked at photos for this challenge for several times and learned a lot from it. But this time because I have tried it myself, I am able to learn deeper and absorb more. I was surprised about this, but very happy!
• A little encouragement goes a long way. I shall never hesitate to encourage anyone in the future.
I want to thank Stacy. And… I am looking forward to next month’s challenge. 😉