I have always enjoyed editing photos. I used to feel kind of weird for it because I always heard photographers and enthusiasts saying that they just wanted to take pictures, not spend hours messing around with editing. When I just had a little point and shoot camera and some Windows photo editing tool I played around, A LOT. Sometimes I edited pictures because I didn't expose right, but most of the time I was changing things drastically just to get a different look.
Over time I lost the drive to mess around and make things look surreal vs. reality. I worked for a photographer that was very particular about making sure the pictures had the right hue. I was highly influenced by this mentality and continued to use it in my own work. The better I got at shooting the less I edited and deep down I was somewhat disappointed. I wanted to see the change in post. Weird, I know.
I have enjoyed seeing other moods created by photographers and wanted to know how it all worked. I know that you can sit through classes trying out different types of edits, but I took another route. I decided to purchase presets from a couple of photographers that I admire. I know that my taste and style drastically changed since 2006, when I made crazy edits, but I wanted to bring that same energy I had to a more mature style. I did not want to change my compositions or copy someone else. I just wanted the mood I saw and wanted to discover new ones in the process.
Many successful photographers outsource their editing to save on time so that they can focus on their brand. In a sense this is what I have done, but I still want to play around with new looks on my own. I find it stimulating for me. It is like when you were a kid and would lay on the couch and dangle your head over the edge, looking out into the room upside down. It changed the room and made you feel like you were in a whole other place. For me, it made my heart leap in my throat. It made me see that what was already there could be changed and refreshing! As a photographer, what do you think about presets? Let me know in the comments!