Okay, Lightroom is the best. Who knew that high-quality editing software would improve photos? (Everyone. Everyone who seriously likes photography knew that. I’m just late to the party.)
But seriously, using Lightroom to edit photos these past few weeks has been a dream. Only yesterday, I discovered that you can saturate or mute individual colours separately, which is a lifesaver as often when you make colours more saturated the background looks more vibrant but fair skin tones become a lurid pink-orange disaster. Now, I can brighten up the background while keeping skin tones looking human.
This came in useful with Saturday’s photos in particular, when I spent the morning lying in a punt trying to get good action shots of Sophie avoiding a horde of geese and other sedate punters while attempting to maneouvre an unwieldy wooden tub along the river Cherwell. I remain obsessed with Soph’s crop-top and dungaree outfit and hounded her with the camera all day in order get the shots I wanted. I love emphasising shadows and highlights to create contrast and bring out faces and expressions, for which Lightroom is also great. Aside from photos, Nemo found the wobbly boat a bit stressful and sat in my arms the whole time, which made me so happy given that he’s usually deeply sceptical of me.
Since discovering that I can take pictures of people as well as things I have been rabid about taking portraits of my friends and family. On weeks where I’m not doing anything particularly interesting, I immediately turn my attention to everyone around me, people who have been in my life long enough that a protracted photography session is not enough to make them start ignoring my phone calls. Because guys? Taking beautiful photos of people you love is the best. I love it. I love that I now have catalogue of images of my family and my friends. After Maddie and I did a (very, very slightly) more thoughtful photoshoot last weekend I’ve been even more keen to whip out the camera and focus on pictures rather than have good photographs be incidental to our activities. Jake has been away for the past two weeks but I’ve already texted him to say he’s due another photoshoot when he gets back.
Of course, compulsively photographing my friends was not limited to Sophie. Imogen visited on Sunday afternoon and Maddie ended up joining us too, and after briefly catching up the camera quickly came out. After last weekend, Maddie was ready to pose, and Imogen also started wrapping herself in lavender at my request in order to get more face-in-plant photos like last weekend. All of my long-suffering friends are the best, and I love that having fun with cameras and poses has become something we look forward to doing together. It’s also probably worth mentioning that Imogen and I met when we were rowing at university and that she is now a professional athlete, hence the enormous muscles. She’s a tank. Also bulging muscles are fun to photograph because of the shadows and sinews.
Not only did I get photos of Sophie, Imogen and Maddie in Oxford, I also annoyed my brother at a bar by taking pictures of him on the eve of his 21st birthday. He then loved the pictures and I feel vindicated and just a little smug, like all big sisters do when they are proved right. Aside from portraits, I took a few pictures in London that same night, of a yellow sunset over the city and some flags fluttering in the summer wind.
On a final note, we are officially halfway through Get Snappy, and 2019. That happened fast. Do you think my photos have improved?! I’ve certainly taken enough to say I’ve given photography my best shot this year so far.