It has been about 5 months since my photography hobby has been totally revitalized. As a hobbyist, I was always looking for the perfect composition and the perfect light. Professionals do this on a regular basis but us amateurs are mostly hit and miss.
Then I discovered a few basics that all pros take advantage of and it is a whole new ballgame. I could go into quite a bit of detail here, and I might lose some of you, but suffice it to say that two things I now do that I never did before is shoot RAW files instead of JPEGS (this is an option in all DSLR's) and I 'develop' my photos in Adobe Lightroom, a photo editing software program that is phenomenal. I have provided an example of 'before' and 'after' on this post.
The above photo is taken in difficult lighting because the sunrise is backlighting the scene, except for the foreground which is vastly under-exposed. A RAW file records much more information than a JPEG and also turns off the camera's internal software that adjusts all elements of the photo according to factory pre-sets.
Lightroom allows the photographer to draw out of the photo what he actually saw at the time the shutter snapped. I made at least 15 adjustments to the photo and it ended up being just like I remembered it, and not what my camera thought it should be. This allows for ultimate creativity and eliminates the frustration of taking photos that just do not do the scene justice.
Now, all I concern myself with is composition and sharp focus. Within reason, lighting can always be corrected.
I cannot help but think of the Biblical creation account every time I develop a new photo. "And then there was light"