A lot goes into creating a photograph. Certainly knowing your equipment inside and out, making sure your settings are correct for the subject, getting what needs to be in focus IN focus, are big parts of making a photo. Then there is this from National Geographic photographer, Jim Richardson, “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” Yes, of course, an interesting subject is quite important too.
However (you knew there was going to be a “but…” didn’t you?), how you process the snapshot captured on your sensor or frame of film is equally important and, in some cases, actually the most important step.
Do you remember those times getting your film back from the Fotomat (I’m dating myself here), so excited to see the shots you took of that fantastic sunset at the beach and then sadly realizing the prints look nothing like what you saw? 9 times out of 10, a bit of contrast adjustment, some color correction & white balance adjustment, perspective correction, and cropping as necessary, would have made those photographs sing! Creative processing can take an OK image and turn it into a stunning, impactful, earth-shattering, wonderful work of art.
So, go out, stand in front of cool things and interesting stuff, check your settings, focus and click. But remember, it’s the processing that takes your snapshot and makes it a photograph.