We all take bad photos! Here’s how Shadow Hunting makes them good!

.But bad photos are part of life. Can you fix them? We will see. But when you look for the shadow, you learn to stop holding on and use bad photos in a new way.

It’s easy to get stuck.

Make sure you sign up for my free Shadow Hackers LIVE photo workshop to take this further,

Let yourself see why it failed.

There’s no question that if you know your edits, and have good preset actions and editing workshop you will discover perfection in many photos. But throwing out your ego for Shadow Hunting will reveal why any photo failed you.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve taken photos that were not meeting my expectations and started trying stuff. Scrolling thru presets in Filmist, or Silver, or working in Emulsion actions and I saw the image come out when I thought I had failed.

Even with great presets and edits this photo falls flat.I spend ages trying to fix it as I show in the video.

It’s when you hack the shadows.

This video is a bit of a primer and I hope you watch it before you attend my Shadow Hackers live photo workshop.

Because once you see from a Shadow Hacking perspective and learn what I teach about hunting Shadow your bad photos will become your friends.

When you have everything in place and actually use your tools you will save a lot of photos that you thought you missed as I show in the video. A mechanic can’t fix everything, but if he has his skill and his tools in place the positive outcomes will vastly increase.\

This was not a bad photo. I liked it. It’s a photo with shadow and depth. But I came back years later.

Don’t get stuck in Bad Photo Syndrome

BPS wastes your time and keeps you from creating more. With your best photos, you usually know as soon as you see the shot. You feel it was right and you open it up and it’s there.

It’s not always that way. Get creative and try things. But don’t keep on forever. Even if a photo is important, if I don’t start seeing what I wanted in a few minutes I leave it behind. At least for now.

Make the bad photo your friend and let it help you hack the shadows better.

This light was hard. So while the file was rough, I focused on my plan and used Speed masks and a good edit to make it work. Don’t let a flat RAW file get you down any more than a bad photo.

Just admit it.

Don’t feel bad about giving up on a bad photo. Don’t cling to it. Maybe save it for later. I’ve come back to photos after a decade and found good results. But My best work, I always know.

Every bad photo you take improves you. But only if you admit it and move on. If you pretend to yourself it’s still good when really it isn’t, the lesson didn’t teach you much. It’s hard, but if be honest your frow.

I hope this helps you edit better but also get back out there and keep shooting because that is what will really make you a master. Al the way back to the painters, we learn that shadow is king and when we focus on the plan, great images are born.

Gavin Seim

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About the Author

Glad you're here.

I'm from WA State USA and started studying photography in 97. I started work as a pro (using that word loosely because I sucked) using film at age 16. I learned fast but was not as easy to find training then. Sometimes I beat my head against the wall until I figured stuff out.

As digital dawned I went all in and got to study with masters like Ken Whitmire. In 09 I founded the Pro Photo Show podcast. I started promoting tone-focused editing. When Lightroom arrived, I started developing tools to make editing and workflow better.

20 years of study and photography around the country earned me a Master of Photography (M.Photog) from PPA. I got to see my workshops and tools featured in publications across the industry. Once I even won the prestigious HotOne award for my "EXposed" light and tone workshop.

Wanting something calmer, I moved to Mexico in 2017. It's a land of magical light. I'm here now exploring light and trying to master my weak areas. I make videos of that for my Youtube channel, sharing what I learn. I hope you'll stick around and be part of Light Hunters Tribe... Gavin

Gavin Seim

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