You Deserve a Break Today

I’m lovin’ it.

I thought that I was finished with this series.

Then, I saw it. One more picture. The one with the golden arches tucked neatly into the bottom right hand corner. I composed it that way. But, it was hidden in the funk of low-lying clouds. Even though it doesn’t look like it, this picture took a lot of post production work.

It was tricky. How do you pop the little McDonald’s sign out of the darkness without making it too bright?

Very carefully.

I used some OnOne tools that allowed me to work in teeny-tiny increments. It reminded me of the days in the darkroom when we used potassium ferricyanide to open the shadows slightly. The difference? Not only was that chemical dangerous, but one wrong move and the print was ruined. You started over with a new print. Made in the dark. It was tedious work.

Today, of course, we do it digitally. We can save an image as we go. Make a mistake, and take a step back.

After thinking about it for a while, I realized that I wouldn’t have it any other way. Learning the “old school” ways prepared me for the future. When somebody complains that they don’t have the patience to do a little digital retouching, I mostly just think it’s a good thing they were born after than me. It’s likely that a lot of today’s “internet photographers” would be working underneath that sign making Quarter Pounders With Cheese. Oops. Did I write that?

Make no mistake. I’m not talking about people with phones or cameras who are just documenting their lives, their children and their travels. They are having fun.


I’m talking about the photographers who want to make money from their pictures. Photography, like any art, takes time to learn. Often, it’s painful. Just as importantly, if you want to make money, take the time to learn the business of photography. Too many new photographers under charge for their work. If you start out low balling it’s very hard to raise your prices, If you give your work away on the new stock websites that don’t charge people who need pictures, you are just strangling yourself in the name of “getting known.” WordPress is doing a deal with one of them now. Just sayin’.

Why am I talking about this now?

I always do.

But, I was listening to something the late Anthony Bourdain said about getting older and mature in your work, whatever it is. We are bound to teach those coming up. We are bound to be generous with our time.


I think that about once a week, I’ll teach. Right here on Storyteller. For free.  That’s the other thing. We shouldn’t be making money from other photographers no matter how much we need it for our cash flow.

What would you like to learn?

Ask away.


Leave a Comment

  1. Nice image. Also nice to hear about how you went about bringing out the arches. Do you think you could have done something similar with the Lightroom brushes? (I’m still on Squarespace, but I miss the Reader function in WordPress. I’ve never managed to develop a routine with the RSS subscription services.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I think so because it’s the same approach. Generally, I made a slight change and save, and so on. It’s just time consuming in either case.

      My website is on Squarespace with a blog named Storyteller. But, it’s very hard to develop the kind of community that you can on WordPress, even though unless you do some serious code modification, WP is really a writer’s format.


  2. Chuckling…the first two times I read this, I didn’t get the the old jingle reference in the title. And then I did. LOL. I want to know many things about photography! I’m glad you’ll be teaching! I’ll never be a professional but am a “lifelong learner” and would love to be better at something I truly enjoy.

    It’s a little thing, but what I’m most curious about right at this moment is how you handle the condensation on the lens from the temperature and humidity differential between indoors and out. Do you let your camera sit outside for a certain amount of time before setting out on your photo safaris?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m actually amazed that you got it. That jingle was around in the mid-70s. It”s the first thing that came to mind for me.

      It’s not a little thing in our atmosphere. My answer is kind of funny. Even with cars in the garage, they are very hot. I open the windows, turn the AC on and drive. Usually by the time the car is a little cool, the camera temperature has balanced. Just be sure not to let the car get cold or you are right back where you started. Take the lens cap off, but never change lens or open the battery and card openings until the camera is balanced to the temp/humidity.

      You can use a cotton t-shirt/top or a microfiber cloth to wipe remaking moisture from you lens, eyepiece or lcd.



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