Digital darkroom editing etiquette

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by themonko, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. themonko

    themonko TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Hello all,

    I am relativly new to the digital photography world. I am having a hard time figuring out what is considered OKAY digital darkroom editting and what is too much. I basically don't want to do anything with photoshop that I wouldn't be able to do if i were developing my pictures with chemicals.

    So my basic questions are:

    1) I take pictures in RAW format, I play a little with the RAW editor in PS and then open it in PS. Once opened in PS, what tools and in what order can I use with out feeling guilty?

    2) I love B&W photography, but when you shoot in RAW, the picture is always in color (at least I haven't found a way to change this). So this question is the same as above but with the added step of converting the image to B&W. When do you convert it to make it look the best? which tool is best to use for best quality? Gradiant, channels, desaturate, curves, combination? I currently do a combination. I will desaturate in the RAW editor, use the gradiant tool in PS, and then play with curves.

    Alrighty, I think that is all for now. If somethign is unclear, feel free to ask me questions.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,346
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I personally don't feel guilty at all about anything I do in the digital darkroom. Digital photography is a different animal. Do whatever it is you want to do, or have to do, to achieve the look you want, and don't feel guilty for a second. Art is art. The end justifies the means.

    As far as B&W, I would recommend using the channel mixer. It gives you control over the contrast and density of the B&W. Most of my B&W photos were taken to their maximum potential in color first, in terms of contrast, color balance and saturation.
     
  3. mal

    mal TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    York, UK
    Yeah, what he said /\. I know that photoshop 7 has a preset action called 'Custom RGB to Grayscale' which effectively desaturates the image and opens the channel mixer for you to adjust as you wish. As for the other effects, think of the traditional developing with chemicals technique as something that held you back artistically, rather than the 'right' way to do things. I admit that there's a certain satisfaction from being able to create a perfect image 'in camera', without the fixes that are available in photoshop, but I guess that's progress. I'd recommend that you embrace the new oppurtunities that Photoshop presents, and definitely don't feel guilty for utilizing all of the tools that are available to you.
     
  4. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,346
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Nobody creates a perfect image in camera.
     
  5. Rogue Monk

    Rogue Monk TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Wow.

    I think you're the first person I've heard put this in such a clean statement. Most skirt the issue, with some sort of analogy ("Even Ansel Adam--creator of the zone system--spent crazy amounts of time in the darkroom").

    Very nice, Matt.
     
  6. JohnMD

    JohnMD TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agree with mal and Matt above. Many (or even most) traditional 'darkroom photographers' use whatever tools or techniques they can to produce prints to their liking and if they were given more tools they would probably use them as well. The digital darkroom offers many more tools so I should just go ahead and use them.
     
  7. themonko

    themonko TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Interesting take and thanks for the comments.

    the reason I asked is because there was some journalistic photography contest (can't remember what it was or much details) and the winner actually had the prize taken away after it was realized he "enhanced" the picture "too much" digitally.

    Also, as for converting to B&W, does anyone have a step by step they use and prefer that works really well for them? Do you edit the pictures in color first, then convert to B&W? Do you desaturate in RAW mode then play with the channel mixer? etc etc.

    Thanks!!
     
  8. mal

    mal TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    York, UK
    Sorry, to clarify, I meant that it's satisfying to create an image that doesn't require any modification in Photoshop to fix exposure, contrast etc.
     
  9. themonko

    themonko TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    i'll second that! How long does that take to master? 30, 40, 80 years? :lol:
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

dark room etiquette

,
darkroom etiqueete in photography