How much post processing is too much? (long post disclaimer)

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by BuZzZeRkEr, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. BuZzZeRkEr

    BuZzZeRkEr TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Va
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm sure most of you guys have heard a critique or two about "over processing" or "..spending way too much time in photoshop to make a photo look so good that it doesn't look unreal..." etc. So let me try and answer that question "How much post processing is too much?"

    Lets face it, if your a photographer and don't know photoshop or any other digital editing technique......your dead in the water in a fast growing extremely competitive industry. I personally (like some of you other photographers who know a thing or two two about PP) might have been viciously attacked and critized for my post production techniques for not looking real...and my favorite posted by another photographer who competes in my market

    "......What I HATE is when people feel the need to go nuts with and make the photo look completely fake. For example: [LINK HAS BEEN REMOVED UPON REQUEST] If the colors looked that good in real life we could all be photogs...." of course the link was to my gallery of pictures of my son. The photographer who posted that link on the internet eventually removed it because I started getting from people viewing my link from that site :) funny sometimes how things work.

    Ultimately for my personal beliefs, I think PP plays a critical role in modern photography...not only are you hiring me to take GREAT pictures at solid focus and great exposure. Your also paying me to pose, set up shots, be intuitive of my surroundings, and what I do...incorporate shots through PP at the time I am taking them. Basically while I'm taking pictures I already know what I'm going to do with them in PP to make them look spectacular and give them a unique feel....here is an example of this at an engagement shoot last year...
    [​IMG]

    Ok, this example is a little bit extreme, most of my pictures don't look like this, but you can get a feel for the the artists eye...or vision. I obviously don't edit all of my photos like these....this actually was a somewhat complicated shot to set up and pull off....but does reflect my style of photography and editing. I use vibrant and brilliant color combinations to enhance my images...and some other prefer black and white..etc.

    So, is there a difinitive answer to this question? I believe so....there ultimately IS an answer to when exactly PP becomes "TOO MUCH". I know some of you are probably thinking no....no....there is no such thing as editing a picture too much, and there are some of you that say even adjusting brightness and contrast PP is too much and that dreaded PP is "..TAKING AWAY FROM TRUE PHOTOGRAPHY.." but it's time to draw a line in the sand.

    To me the line exists the moment you set a dead line for all of your photos to be developped/edited and final product to be delivered to client. There is something set, something tangible. If you can deliver your final product to your client withing the alotted deadline...congradulations you have not over PP'd/Photoshopped/edited etc your pictures no matter how rediculous or brilliant you might make them look. However, the moment you miss your deadline or alotted time to PP/Photoshop/edit your pictures you have ultimately over PP'd/Photoshopped/etc your images.

    In conclusion, there is a point at which you can over process your pictures in an absolute difinitive way. Can you over process your pictures in a creative....artistic...expressive way? No. Go nuts (just as long as your meeting your deadlines ;)

    Thanks for reading this super long post and I hope you find it helpfull next time someone redicules you for over processing...:mrgreen:
     
  2. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,878
    Likes Received:
    284
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Working as a professional clients look at your portfolio and hire you based on what they've seen of your work expecting the consistent final product delivered to them. From a profession perspective I think that PP is overdone when the scope goes beyond what the client expects from you, it isn't about meeting deadlines that has to do with over PP, but it's what's being delivered as the final product of the sytle you presented in which they hired you for.

    As an artist working on personal pieces, I must say my style changes like a babies dirty diaper. I completely agree with you...I go nuts and PP crazy when I feel like it, or sometimes SOOC just does it for me...there are no boudaries from a self expressive standpoint...no boss..LOL. I think it depends on what the intention of the work is.
     
  3. ocular

    ocular TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,107
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    outoftown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Personally I think spending most of the time composing the shot is more important then fixing or tweaking in ps. I find a lot of people will take a capture and move on thinking they will fix it later in ps but this is a mistake, a time waster. In conclusion I suppose if you have all the time in the world to get your picture perfect go for it ;)
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    ocular the two are mutually exclusive. In the above examples of "over processing" the composition was good to begin with.


    Camz hit the nail. Too much post processing is when you don't have clients. I look at the above photo and think it's over processed, but if the photographer has happy clients then it clearly is not. Art is subjective, which is why asking a question like this on a public forum is likely to start with a few comments on personal beliefs, then blow out into a religious flamewar of "in camera" vs "in photoshop".

    In reality. It's not your right to say on the photographer's behalf if it's over processed.
     
  5. ocular

    ocular TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,107
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    outoftown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I was responding to what he wrote and made a statement in general. His portrait is good I like it.
     
  6. BuZzZeRkEr

    BuZzZeRkEr TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Va
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I agree with the above about "clients look at your portfolio and hire you based on what they've seen of your work expecting the consistent final product delivered to them."

    Although this IS true for any aspect of photography and what constitutes your portfolio. Even if photographers don't PP this....could also apply. And oddly enough leaves a door open for "under post processing"....if you follow my lead :sexywink:

    "From a profession perspective I think that PP is overdone when the scope goes beyond what the client expects from you, it isn't about meeting deadlines that has to do with over PP, but it's what's being delivered as the final product of the sytle you presented in which they hired you for."

    Right, this is kinda more of the same from above, it could be applied to any aspect of photography....not just PP. I understand what your saying though.....if you messed with your pictures soo much that the client doesn't like them even though you met the dead-line., what that means to me is it that you failed as a photographer/artist OR the client had a different vision for the pictures you provided them (or of themselves).
     
  7. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,878
    Likes Received:
    284
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I honestly don't understand what your saying. What do you mean "Even if photographers don't PP this...could also apply". If your clients hire you for what they've seen in your portfolio weather the images are post processed or not, they hired you for a specific reason and expect delivery of that final product. So obviously underprocessing or over processing the work in comparison to their expecations isn't meeting the scope of your clients. Not delivering on expectations could mean a million things - and yes delivering final product on a deadline is one of those. What I disagreed with initially is how you correlated Post Processing with delivering the final product on time. Handing it of to the client on time has to do more with logistics and time management...nothing to do with post processing at all. I think that's like comparing apples with grapefruits.

    Edit: btw i edit clients pictures while I TPF at night...haha let's not hope it hurts the deadline ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  8. lenad09

    lenad09 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    kentucky
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    i cannot get over how beautiful this picture is!
     
  9. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,721
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    NH
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    camz nailed it i think.
     
  10. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,076
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The basic rule of critique applies here as well. If in this case as with any other technique, the amount of postprocessing detracts or distracts the viewer's attention from the centre of interest then it is too much.

    Oops! Doesn't sound right. I did not mean to imply that there was too much postprocessing in the above photo only that postprocessing is just another technique that is looked at for its effect on the centre of interest.

    skieur
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
  11. i Kandi Photography

    i Kandi Photography TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    ST. LOUIS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I think that is a gorgeous photo!
     
  12. nemophotos

    nemophotos TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ok - so I skimmed your post (sorry - I hate reading haha) - but I get the gist... And in my opinion... there is no such thing as "too much" post processing - if the end result is what you or the client want.

    My husband thinks that whatever comes out of the camera should be the final result - because it is "real". It is what the camera sees, what existed, and no post processing should ever be done.

    I on the other hand think that what is "real" isn't always what is "always". Like if someone has a zit... that's not how they look all the time - so take it out. If a pant leg is too short because of a position - lengthen it... and if you want to add color pop, lens flare, etc to add drama to the picture - go for it!

    To me - photography is art - but post processing is art too. Add as much or as little as you want to really achieve how you perceived the shot. Sometimes when I'm shooting my daughter I can see this picture in my head, and when I see what I shot - its not the same... so I make it out to be what I saw in my head.

    Is it not really what was there? Maybe, but it was how I envisioned the shot so that's what I made it to be.

    I think your photo is beautiful. My friend does a ton of post processing like that shot and while it's not always the style I go for - I definitely see how a few photos can be enhanced by doing it. People may not like my PP but I do so whatever :)

    Carry on :)
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
excessive digital processing can lead to
,
excessive digital processing can lead to?
,
how much contrast is too much in post processing
,
how much is too much post processing
,

how much post processing is too much

,
photography post processing too much
,
photography too much post processing
,
photography too much post processing'
,

too much post processing

,
too much post-processing