Photography has helped me develop greater appreciation for life.
I bought my first DSLR camera in July 2013. Few months later, I began watching online tutorials on how to use the camera effectively and soon afterwards in early 2014 I came across the YouTube channel of successful French photographer Serge Ramelli which taught me incredibly valuable lessons in creative image retouching using Photoshop and Lightroom. I sensed that photography and image editing had had a peculiar impact on my awareness and lifestyle.
I have become more aesthetics-aware. Occasionally, I would go out for a walk with my camera to snap images of what I consider beautiful and interesting. Such is my attitude that I am always walking around as if exploring the environment for the first time. My eyes are literally scanning for good composition and beauty. Surprisingly, that attitude remains to an extent even when I am not out with my camera and I often find myself actively looking for beauty in people’s faces or buildings and streets.
Once pictures are taken, it is time for the more exciting part – the image re-touching, a form of art itself. Generally, I would add contrast and saturation to enhance the colours, filters to bring back details in highlights and shadows, and my favourite – brushes to warm up or cool parts of an image and at the same time create a particular mood and incorporate a message.
Interestingly, I could link image editing with my childhood. The process of editing an image for me is a pleasant and soothing activity, always brings me a sense of achievement and joy and I love listening to music while doing it, just like drawing and painting when I was a kid.
Photography and image editing have helped me further understand the significance of light in relation to the aesthetics of life. I’ve now began to regard light as an artist in an endless creation of beauty, constantly painting and re-painting the world, using soft brushes in the morning and late afternoon and hard ones during the day, into constantly evolving beauty that we the photographers could experience no more than a glimpse of but luckily build upon and enhance as our unique selves desire. I often view the process of photography as creating snapshots of a timeless world as seen not by my eyes or camera lens but by my loving heart.
Photography is also a process of sharing for me. A beautiful image is more than a flat screen or canvas hanging on the wall; it has been brushed with the creator’s feelings and emits a particular state of mind; it’s an expression of a man’s love for life and light.