Chicago in the Shutter Frame

Photography Requires Focus

There’s money to be made in every creative endeavor these days, but a photographer has to consistently create decent compositions in photos that are beautiful, stunning, eye-catching, thought provoking or that in some other way beg for people’s attention. The photographer can’t just simply run around with a camera and snap random shots and hope that he or she will get one good one out of the bunch (dumb luck only exists in the art world for one in a million, and you probably aren’t it).

The Neo Monoliths of Chicago

What’s more, if someone takes a great photo, having the knowledge to work in the medium is essential to taking that photo to new heights visually. Most photographers today aren’t like Kodak or Adams who drag around ancient camera models, wait for the perfect scene to present itself and then use old fashioned techniques of dodging, burning, silvering and cropping to alter the outcome of the self-developed and exposed dark room picture. Oh, no, these days everything is digital right down to the special effects. All the jokes about Photoshop may be funny, but what it can do is much more than that.

For Example

A hundred photos can be taken of Chicago attractions, but if they are off center or the focus of the picture makes no sense, not only will the photographer not make a dime on the photo but also no tourist would be interested in the blah picture of some blah place. Tourism itself depends on photographers taking the best pictures they can of the museums, the nightlife, downtown shopping scenes and just about anything else where you’ll find major Chicago attractions. There are so many things to take pictures of in Chicago too, that the subject matter really isn’t limited; it’s infinite.

Here’s a picture that looks absolutely stunning.

A Night of Many Colors Chicago

The blues, reds, and purples are a beautiful high contrast against the blacks and yellows of the surrounding skyscrapers. Where this outdoor performance theater sits, in Millennium Park (Pritzker Pavilion), the colors from the building itself seem to radiate outward and back again with the evening sky. The lines and structure and architecture pull the eye inward and keep the viewer circling inside the photo for eternity. Now that’s a solid example of what can be done with a camera and probably a few Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator program tools! This is one remarkable composition, and the photographer probably made good on it, as will the city of Chicago when the tourists come to see Pritzker Pavilion for themselves.

The Power of Photoshop

While Photoshop and other digital media editing software can really knock a picture out of the park, photographers really have to know what they’re doing. Composition is of primary importance. When looking at this photo in editing software, chances are the photographer cropped the photo so the architecture would bring the viewer into the scene and keep them circling through. He or she might also have used a copy and fill application so the blues in the building mimicked the blues in the sky. They might have even lightened the background while darkening the foreground to keep the focal point on Pritzker Pavilion. There are about fifty other tools they might have used, but these are the most obvious to a trained eye. Non-artists and non-photographers would not know the difference; they would only be enchanted by this piece of Chicago beauty and want to investigate the events there. Still, Photoshop has to be used with discretion; if a photo isn’t believable, the attractions won’t exist for the viewers and they won’t come to see it in person.

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