A Bit of French Inspiration

A year or so ago I stumbled upon Serge Ramelli’s website, http://photoserge.com. I can’t quite remember how I found it. It might have been, for once, a useful advert on Facebook (it’s rare, but they do appear from time to time).

Serge, to quote him, is “a French photographer, living in the beautiful city of Paris”. You only have to browse through a few photos on his website to realise how lucky he is. It’s something of a photographer’s dream: a beautiful, romantic city with amazing architecture and features just waiting to be photographed in the right light. Essentially endless material.

On his website are a number (we’re talking dozens that extend to the hundreds) of free, yes free, tutorials that cover a vast array of subjects on photo editing. If you haven’t come across them already, check out http://photoserge.com/tutorials/podcasts/. I’ve literally spent hours watching them, for several reasons. Not least because they are free, that’s always a good thing, but because they are exceptionally good. Serge’s style of teaching is somewhat unique, just as much as his photo editing technique. It is very rare to find a good teacher: I know, I’ve been to school. There are teachers that inspire. And then there are teachers that, well, do quite the opposite. Serge is certainly the former. He is charismatic, he  has energy, he’s humorous, he knows what he is doing, he loves what he is doing and it comes across in his tutorials. He breaks everything down into easy to learn, bite-size chunks, explaining everything as he goes along in detail as to why he’s doing it and what happens when he does it. It makes learning photography and editing photographs a pleasure. He’s also a fine photographer.

He’s also something of an inspiration, certainly to me and no doubt to many others. He’s taught me to do what I like and don’t worry too much about criticism. From his comments in the videos it appears that many people have critiqued his photos, perhaps not appreciating his editing style, but it doesn’t stop him. He’s done what makes him happy and continues to do what he likes to do and I think that serves as an inspiration to all of us. Too many people have had their images beaten down by judges in club competitions, some of which produce work no better, and in fact in some cases far worse, than ours. I’ve seen judges turn down fantastic panels of work, put forward for accreditation, for no real reason, and yet then they applaud at utter drivel. But enough about that. In short do what pleases you because you can guarantee whilst there are people who don’t like what you do there will be at least as many, if not  more, that like it.

Anyway, back to the tutorials. So why are they free? Well at the end of the day you have to speculate to accumulate and that is exactly what Serge is doing here. They are little nuggets of information: just part of the bigger picture, making you eager to learn more. And he has a LOT more knowledge to share. If you browse his website you will come across many, many more in depth tutorials with videos and also RAW files to accommodate them. Not many people give those away. The downside? You have to pay, but it has to be said they are exceptional value for money. For $340 (maybe even less sometimes: subscribe and offers will come through from time to time, enabling you to get more off) you can get the complete works which comprises of 21 separate packages, which then have their own individual sub-packages. In short hours upon hours of videos and RAW files to work along with. If you don’t want to buy the complete works the sub-packages are available on their own-it just makes it a bit more expensive should you want to to buy lots!

Having run out of free videos and having thirst for more knowledge and needing to come up to scratch on some aspects of Lightroom I’ve checked a few on the list that interest me, the first being interior design photography. Having bought it, watch this space for a review. All I’m saying at the moment is that it’s better than his free tutorials, and that’s saying a lot 🙂

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