Spotlight on..the students of the Simple Edit with Leah Zawadzki

The Simple Edit is not about image processing as much as about the process itself, about the role post production plays in making photographs. This first class of students was amazing, eager to learn and so full of potential. In our two weeks together it was all about unraveling that potential, exploring it in their work and bringing it to life with their edits.

Beyond the mechanics of learning the Lightroom program, during the first week of class we took a look at student work by editing images. In this process, not only did they get a first-hand look at how Lightroom worked, but also gained insight on “seeing” edits and what we can learn from our images in post processing. Here are a few photographs from that exercise.

Growth occurs in the process of making choices about our work. The better we understand our own work and the direction we want to take it, the easier the choices become. From choosing color temperature to image contrast, to which photos to show in a session or in our portfolio’s or even with our personal work, making choices helps define us as artists. By shooting and editing and making more work, it’s in this process that we all have the opportunity to make better work. 

By the beginning of the second week students are asked to look at their own work and select 6-10 of their top images. These images begin to define the kind of work they want to make. It’s amazing how many of us have a hard time, for whatever reason, making these decisions. But once we push ourselves to make hard choices, the result begins to tell us not only about our work but about ourselves.  

Over the weekend, students are asked to make work using the process presented in class. Part of the exercise is about using Lightroom, so if questions arise, they do so during class. More importantly, it’s about making new work and to practice making choices in post-production. Here are a few images students submitted, and I was so impressed with the progress in just a little over a week.

It was so much fun to see the growth and discovery unfold before my eyes. By the time class was over I had fallen in love with my student’s hearts and each one’s desire to make meaningful work. It was such a pleasure!! xo

Leah Zawadzki | Instructor of the Simple Edit