The Kids, Adobe & Me

Three weeks ago, armed with, kids, camera, laptop and a long list of shoots that needed to be edited and filled with good intentions of catch up work alongside some sol and a bit of sangria, the kids and I boarded our Costa bound Easyjet flight.

On arrival, whilst my first task was to put the sunbed in place, the kids of course were more concerned with getting connected to the wi-fi. That’s where my technological summer issues began. It was of course a late Friday afternoon, when I had to make the call to the Spanish broadband provider, who then had to send out an engineer who wouldn’t be able to arrive until Tuesday, as it was fiesta weekend.

On Tuesday the wi-fi guy turned up to be greeted by the kids as if he were the messiah, and with a cease fire on the moaning, I settled down to do some work and that’s when my technological issues really began. Adobe Light Room, my editing package just wasn’t right.

After several attempts at home remedies and not the camomile tea variety, although my stress levels could have done with it, I decided to contact Adobe, which proved to be as difficult as revealing a state secret.

There appeared to be no way to unearth direct contact. Finally, with some help, a contact number was discovered and conversations day and night with call centres in New Delhi began as my sunbed basking hours diminished. Eventually many days and call centre operators later, my Light Room issues seem to be resolved and my editing backlog could be tackled.

Whilst writing this, expressing my tale of technological woe, my thoughts turn to a conversation I had with my 13-year-old daughter, who proclaimed over dinner last night, that I needed to do less editing! Why darling? I responded, “I don’t change people’s appearances, I just enhance the image and remove distraction”.

I consider how I am relatively new to the editing process and to its software, but through my time at London College of Communications, I have appreciated that editing has always been a vital part of a photographer’s creative process, be it in the dark room or on the computer. As I enthusiastically babble about how the darkroom process is the same as that of Light Room, my daughter holds a red flag to my enthusiasm and says, “yes mum, but you won’t want to take any pictures if you know it going to take you so long to edit!”

Stumped, as only you can be sometimes by your children, I have been mulling this thought over. Does editing kill the spontaneity of photography? There is a truth to this, the thought of trawling through hundreds of photos you may have taken whilst out on an afternoon stroll can incite a reluctance, but it also can serve to help take a more considered approach.

Photographers spend on average 70% of their time in front of the computer and 30% in front of their camera. For me it is more like 90/10. I know this will change as I master Lightroom and Photoshop, but how to keep the passion and creativity going when life can easily take over?  But photography is a creative outlet, a way to express imagination and curiosity, it is something to channel your anger and passion into.

This morning, I woke only with thoughts of the next editing task to be completed and ticked off my list and how to keep the kids entertained whilst doing it, but whilst listening to the news over my wake up coffee, my passion and curiosity were sparked over a news item and throughout the day I have been reminded that it is through looking for the opportunity, thinking creatively, reaching out and with a supportive network, that it is possible to move opportunities forward and finding renewed energy and excitement for those emerging possibilities ahead.

As summer draws to a close, for the kids, Adobe & me on the Costa, I have renewed vigour for my return and the projects that will unfold.

As I lie here, soaking up the last rays of the day, content, thoughts of editing can wait another day…….and a technology free holiday certainly sounds appealing!