Creating your own aesthetic in photography: the camera you use, the focal length you use, whether you shoot with flash or natural light, and how you process your photos (whether RAW or JPEG):
Make photos you like looking at
There is no perfect aesthetic in photography. I think the point is for us to keep shooting and making photos that we like to look at (with an aesthetic we find beautiful).
Make photos that YOU like to look at!
And if you want to make photos that you like to look at, you must create an aesthetic (processing style) that looks good to your eyes.
ERIC KIM AESTHETICS
For example, these are the aesthetics I like:
- Kodak Portra 400 color film
- Kodak Tri-X 400 black and white film pushed to 1600 (shot with a yellow filter) — ‘What I learned shooting 100 rolls of black and white film‘
- RICOH GR II with positive film color JPEG preset (with even more contrast added)
- RICOH GR II shot in RAW, with ERIC KIM MONOCHROME 1600 preset applied (for black and white) — shot with FLASH.
- Pentax 645Z shot in positive film JPEG preset.
Of course this is just specific to me. You must discover which aesthetics you love!
Photography is all aesthetics
Think of yourself as a painter. You want to paint colors which you like.
You create your aesthetics both by the equipment you use, and how you process the photos after you shoot them.
In other words:
Post-processing your photos is not “cheating”.
The general tip I have with processing your photos is this:
Keep processing your photos until it brings you delight — until you like it! If you keep processing a photo, and you still don’t like it — ditch the photo.
If you need help ditching your photos, share them to arsbeta.com.
Make your own presets
A good way to create your own personal aesthetics in photography is to create your own presets in Adobe Lightroom (Desktop).
For example, a good way to start creating your own presets is to use a preset you already like, and then remix it to your own needs (download ERIC KIM PRESETS and feel free to play around with it).
Create your own preset in Lightroom Desktop
How to create your own preset:
By creating a new preset, you can speed up your photographic workflow.
Never stop painting with new colors and aesthetic visions
Never stop evolving your own aesthetic vision. Recognize that the whole process is in a state of flux.
Be relentless. Never stop shooting, and never stop making beautiful photographs that you consider beautiful art in your own eyes!