You Don’t Take a Photo, You Make It.

As a photographer, you are an image-creator.

## 1. What is ‘taking’ a photo?

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I think when we say ‘take’ a photo, we mean to say ‘shoot’ a photo. This is the act of lifting up your camera, and then pressing the shutter button.

Of course in photography, to point your camera and then pressing the shutter button (shooting a photo) is an essential part of the whole full-stack process of photography.

Yet, after you “shoot” a photo, you still need to do more stuff.

Assuming you’re shooting digital, you either shot in RAW (which needs post-processing. Or if you shoot in JPEG, you still need to import the photo, and somehow publish the photo (whether publishing it online, or printing it out).

## 2. Image-selection (editing)

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Let’s say you go out and you shoot 100 photos in a day.

You must edit (select) the photos you like the best. This is another essential part of the photo-process.

You select the photos you like, and you either “flag” it, you “favorite” it, or you “select” it.

Then– you must choose the individual photograph, then process the photo (with filters/presets, developing in the digital Lightroom).

## 3. Processing

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If you shoot a RAW photo, you must process it. You can add a filter/preset, and you can adjust the exposure, contrast, highlights, blacks, etc.

If you shoot JPEG, the camera has already processed the picture in-camera. Yet, you can still post-process JPEG photos– add more contrast, still add more filters/presets, etc.

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And there is a great art to post-processing. Here is where you really craft the aesthetics of your photograph. You modify the contrast, you modify the exposure, etc– which changes the emotion, mood, and look of your photograph.

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Ansel Adams spent a lot of time in his darkroom to achieve his artistic vision. Richard Avedon had detailed dodging/burning instructions for his post-processing technicians (when he shot large-format film).

## Why are we ‘making’ photos?

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We are making photographs, because we are CREATING photo-graphs (light drawings).

There is this really silly notion of “no filter”– as if not using a filter somehow justified a photograph as being better. Every photograph has an integrated filter– we filter reality via our lenses, our camera sensors, and we filter what to photograph or what *not* to photograph (selective filtering, when you’re out shooting photos).

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The reason I really want to encourage the idea that you as a photographer are MAKING photos is that photography is as legitimate as an art-creation form such as painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.

As a photographer, you create images. You are a maker, not just a mere taker.

SHOOT ON!
ERIC

Photos below shot on RICOH GR II, processed with Eric Kim MONOCHROME PRESETS

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