Insights and ideas from Jennifer Wilkoski Glass
Preserving beauty, past and present
Many people don't see the beauty and artistry in old buildings. But I do. To me, architecture is every bit as artistic and creative as painting or drawing. As a historic preservationist, I use photography to observe and document the state of old buildings and to expose their elegance and creativity. Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® 3 software makes it possible for me to turn work into art as well as make the most of my personal photography.
My curiosity about photography grew from a job requirement into a passion and favorite hobby. I've experimented with both film and digital cameras, new styles of shooting, and a variety of ways to manipulate light and angles to create incredible images. I've always enjoyed the hands-on aspect of using film cameras, and I believe I've developed a deeper understanding of photography-and improved my skills with digital-as a result.
I take a camera everywhere, never knowing what will catch my eye next-a distinctive Art Deco building, a storm cloud hanging over a pasture, a flower in bloom, or an unassuming bridge. Whatever the subject, I'm ready to capture the image at a moment's notice. Right now, I'm really into macro photography for capturing up-close amazing images of nature that usually go unnoticed by the casual observer. Next month, who knows?
After I scan my film negatives or import my raw image files directly into Lightroom, I create individual subfolders with names like "Architecture," "Landscapes," or "Flowers" to help me organize my work. Keyword tagging and Smart Collections are invaluable; a simple keyword like "brick" applied to pictures of brick buildings saves me hours of painstaking searching when I need to find something quickly for work.
I use Lightroom presets I've developed-one to boost the contrast, one to boost clarity, and one to create vibrant colors-to do a lot of the work for me. I enjoy exporting my photos directly from Lightroom to Flickr, and based on the positive feedback I've received, I started selling photos on Etsy. I love how the Etsy community brings artists and crafters together and connects them with interested buyers.
To me, the best part about Lightroom is that I can play with images without worrying about permanently changing the original file. It really gives me a sense of freedom to be creative and explore. Not only can I experiment with different angles, shadowing, and light, but I can take things a step further and think bigger. I now want to take what I've learned about photography and merge it with what I already know about architecture and historic preservation to create a book, combining my two great passions into a reflection of me.
Photography has opened up an entirely new world to me. I'm experiencing things and expressing myself in ways I never thought possible. I think it can do the same for other people, too. The one piece of advice I have for other photographers is something that I discovered on my own: Take your camera everywhere you go. Keep your eyes open, expect the unexpected, and look for the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Jennifer's contrast boost preset