Grand Canyon By Beth Sargent

If I had to choose just one thing that I feel is crucial to a good Photograph, it is Light. I am glad that I don’t have to choose just one thing, because “Color” to me is almost as important.
Over the last few years I have been told many things about my photography. The most common thing is wow look at that color, or you sure love color.
A response I had when giving a sideshow presentation, was “You can’t tell me that you don’t saturate your images”.

I shoot Raw and I usually don’t have my settings on my camera to add color, so my image actually looks bland compared to what I actually saw. But the color information is in that digital file, so by golly I am going to saturate that image to have it look like it did when I shot it.

When someone shoots from any digital camera set on automatic, that camera is developing the image for you and it is surely adding color to the image.

Of course anyone that knows my photography a little, knows that I shoot for HDR. I bracket everything I shoot. Well.. almost. All Landscapes and Scenes, I bracket at least 3 separate exposures. When putting the images together in an HDR program the color can really be bold.

The whole reason that I am bringing the issue of color in my images is that I recently overheard someone talking about my Grand Canyon image and how it had so much color. He did not know I was nearby. Fortunately he is a very nice person. I wasn’t sure how to feel about it, but I think I definitely made an impression. So this comment really got me thinking about the subject of color.

For me, if the file has the color information there, I will bump the saturation. But… I do this because, to me, that is what the scene looked like when I shot it.

So I wanted to show what the image files looked like before any image processing occurred (color, light, or detail) was added …. just to give an idea.

Grand Canyon Dark
Dark or Under Exposed
Grand Canyon Medium
Medium Exposure
Grand Canyon Light
Light or Over Exposed

Now… as you can see in the image below, I definitely work on my images to bring out detail, light and color, but again this really gives that image the “Wow” factor that I felt while I was standing there, shooting off 3 or more bracketed shots at a time.

Grand Canyon By Beth Sargent
Grand Canyon, Arizona

If the information is not there on the image files, the detail, color and light will not come out no matter what I do.

Does it sound like I am defending myself? Not really. In photography everything is subjective. I actually appreciate constructive feedback.

No matter what, I absolutely love color and will continue applying it as well as light and detail to my images. That’s my style.

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