Photographers - Don't put your identity at risk by spending your precious time on pre-defined templates, presets & themes



By looking at your photograph, can people make a guess that the photograph is shot by you? If answer is no, have you thought why? Do you think building your own photography style is important? If the answer is again No, then you can skip this post as there is nothing relevant for you here. But if answer to the second question is Yes, let's talk further and understand what I am trying to say here.

By looking at your photograph, can people make a guess that the photograph is shot by you? If answer is no, have you thought why? Do you think building your own photography style is important? If the answer is again No, then you can skip this post as there is nothing relevant for you here. But if answer to the second question is Yes, let's talk further and understand what are we discussing today. 


When Prizma app came into the world, I had written a similar piece but today I am going to talk about a little broader topic. Earlier post about 'A fool with a tool always remains a fool' can be checked here.

When Prizma app came into the world, I had written a similar piece but today I am going to talk about a little broader topic. Earlier post about 'A fool with a tool always remains a fool' can be checked here


It's interesting about when I started realizing about writing on this topic. I have been using Snapseed for processing my photographs for a long time now. Over the years, I am clicking more photographs with mobile phone camera and also processing them on phone. But recently I built up a habit of using presets in Snapseed which produce awesome results in few seconds and I don't need to spend time thinking about which tools and how I should use them to produce what is in my head. As I started doing it, I received some inputs like - 'they don't look like your photographs' , 'although they look awesome but I missing that punch', 'not sure what to say, but something is missing' etc.

It's interesting about when I started realizing about writing on this topic. I have been using Snapseed for processing my photographs for a long time now. Over the years, I am clicking more photographs with mobile phone camera and also processing them on phone. But recently I built up a habit of using presets in Snapseed which produce awesome results in few seconds and I don't need to spend time thinking about which tools and how I should use them to produce what is in my head. As I started doing it, I received some inputs like - 'they don't look like your photographs' , 'although they look awesome but I missing that punch', 'not sure what to say, but something is missing' etc. 


 It was hard to conclude what all it means and what kind of corrective actions do I need to take. I thought more and talked to these folks in person. There were multiple dimensions, but nobody was able to convey that newly processed photos are not aligning well with my processing style. Certainly everybody has a style but if we start using presets, we lose that style and we would be producing visuals like other millions of folks in the world.

It was hard to conclude what all it means and what kind of corrective actions do I need to take. I thought more and talked to these folks in person. There were multiple dimensions, but nobody was able to convey that newly processed photos are not aligning well with my processing style. Certainly everybody has a style but if we start using presets, we lose that style and we would be producing visuals like other millions of folks in the world. 


Sticking to your own style of photographing things, processing them and sharing is what differentiates you from others. It may be a little slow, but can be very rewarding in longer run. I strongly recommend to read the other article where I shared my thoughts around understanding the tools instead of relying on their intelligence and stop your own learning on creative dimension. Be it Snapseed, Photoshop, Lightroom, Instagram or any other post processing software, don't jump on to preset or templates. Try building your own and then reuse them. And over time improve them further as per your visual thought process.     Let me also re-share a quick summary of old blog-post -    "Its very interesting to see how different kinds of apps are being launched and getting popular. PRISMA is one such app which comes with power and interesting results. But there is a fundamental requirement to use any such tool. Understanding a tool and how it can be used for desired results is important. So in case of PRISMA, its important to understand that all effects would not look good on all kinds of photographs.    So its important to know what kind of photographs you want to process with this app and which particular effect would look good at what %age. Knowing a tool and then using it saves lot of your time in longer run and give better results. Blinding playing with an app with inappropriate content can only lead to waste of time or bad/not-so-good results. And the situation hardly improves.  Let me share some examples and I am sure that you would be able to relate to some of these. Do you find all portraits good, which are processed with PRISMA? I see lot of profile pics being changed and I see 2 main problems – selected portrait doesn’t look good with applied effect or doesn’t go well with personality of the person. It may sound very vague, but just go again and check such photographs. Have you seen faces cut into different parts and with bad shadows?   And this doesn’t limit to PRISMA, but tools like Photoshop and Lightroom as well. Understanding these tools and then knowing the ways to fulfill your needs is important.   Are you wondering what made me write this post? One day I frustrated by seeing lot of badly processed photographs on Facebook. At some places, people changed their profile pics with some really bad ones, where is was difficult to recognize the person. And saw some folks showing randomness on the name of art. I am sure you would have more examples to share with us :)  I came across an article which says that PRISMA creates art out of photographs. I don’t want to get into discussion that not everyone can appreciate every kind of art-piece. But the bottom-line is that one should be happy with the results and should be aware what she wanted to achieve. When started writing about this article, I had lot of thoughts in my mind but then I realized that there was some sort of bias and there can still be some bias. But let me share that I use Prisma and I have spent lot of time but couldn’t achieve what I thought was worth sharing. Hope to spend more time with the app, learn it well and share on my Instagram.  There is huge scope to explore your creativity with this app or many others like this. I am yet to try it with my travel photographs. Let me try and share soon.   So it's not a tool that creates an art but it's your own creativity, please explore that first and then find best tool/filter to match your style/need. I would like to hear your thoughts of PRISMA app and others similar to it. "

Sticking to your own style of photographing things, processing them and sharing is what differentiates you from others. It may be a little slow, but can be very rewarding in longer run. If you are too used to the presets things, one incremental step can be using the present and tweak the visual as per your own style. Now don't ask what your style is ;)

I strongly recommend to read the other article where I shared my thoughts around understanding the tools instead of relying on their intelligence and stop your own learning on creative dimension. Be it Snapseed, Photoshop, Lightroom, Instagram or any other post processing software, don't jump on to preset or templates. Try building your own and then reuse them. And over time improve them further as per your visual thought process. 

Let me also re-share a quick summary of old blog-post -

"Its very interesting to see how different kinds of apps are being launched and getting popular. PRISMA is one such app which comes with power and interesting results. But there is a fundamental requirement to use any such tool. Understanding a tool and how it can be used for desired results is important. So in case of PRISMA, its important to understand that all effects would not look good on all kinds of photographs.


So its important to know what kind of photographs you want to process with this app and which particular effect would look good at what %age. Knowing a tool and then using it saves lot of your time in longer run and give better results. Blinding playing with an app with inappropriate content can only lead to waste of time or bad/not-so-good results. And the situation hardly improves.

Let me share some examples and I am sure that you would be able to relate to some of these. Do you find all portraits good, which are processed with PRISMA? I see lot of profile pics being changed and I see 2 main problems – selected portrait doesn’t look good with applied effect or doesn’t go well with personality of the person. It may sound very vague, but just go again and check such photographs. Have you seen faces cut into different parts and with bad shadows? 


And this doesn’t limit to PRISMA, but tools like Photoshop and Lightroom as well. Understanding these tools and then knowing the ways to fulfill your needs is important. 

Are you wondering what made me write this post? One day I frustrated by seeing lot of badly processed photographs on Facebook. At some places, people changed their profile pics with some really bad ones, where is was difficult to recognize the person. And saw some folks showing randomness on the name of art. I am sure you would have more examples to share with us :)

I came across an article which says that PRISMA creates art out of photographs. I don’t want to get into discussion that not everyone can appreciate every kind of art-piece. But the bottom-line is that one should be happy with the results and should be aware what she wanted to achieve. When started writing about this article, I had lot of thoughts in my mind but then I realized that there was some sort of bias and there can still be some bias. But let me share that I use Prisma and I have spent lot of time but couldn’t achieve what I thought was worth sharing. Hope to spend more time with the app, learn it well and share on my Instagram.

There is huge scope to explore your creativity with this app or many others like this. I am yet to try it with my travel photographs. Let me try and share soon. 

So it's not a tool that creates an art but it's your own creativity, please explore that first and then find best tool/filter to match your style/need. I would like to hear your thoughts of PRISMA app and others similar to it. "

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