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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Fitting Into A project

A few weeks ago I wrote about working in photographic projects, and had discussed a uniformity in look when putting a project together. At that time I had noted that:

“I don’t consider an image ‘done’ or work towards ‘completely finishing’ an image before moving on to the next one in the project. For a project to be cohesive there needs to be some consistency in style. Therefore, when I reach the goal number of images, I plan to review them, see which ones work together, and finish editing the images together as a group to ensure there is some type of consistency and visual flow among them.”

I thought that I would give an example of that. My project photographing the statuettes yielded images that were similar in that they tended to be frame filling macro photos of portions of the statuettes. If this were, say, a landscape project, then the landscape in various weather conditions and lighting would be most appropriate, but in this type of project there needed (or at least to me there needs to be) some sort of tonal consistency.

As I was putting the photos together, I could see that most were in the yellow to yellowish red tonal range with a certain luminosity. This particular image was one that I liked, but it stood out because when I had processed it outside the idea of a cohesive project it had more of a yellow to greenish yellow tone and less brightness to it:

Statuette before tonal changes © Howard Grill

Statuette before tonal changes © Howard Grill

After changing the tones to better fit with other images in the project, the same image looked like this:

Statuette after tonal changes © Howard Grill

Statuette after tonal changes © Howard Grill

One is not better or worse than the other. In fact, I suspect that each could stand on its own. It’s just that when put into the company of the other images in the project the second version is a better and more cohesive ‘fit’. That is why, when working in projects, I don’t necessarily consider an image finished until it takes its place and stands among the other images in the series.