I post process therefore I can't take a good photo.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Garbz, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry but I have to vent. When did post processing become a synonym for correcting a mistake or polishing a turd? When did it change from what it really is which is finishing the damn picture. I am sure I am not alone in that I polish off my photos in a RAW processor when I finish shooting but every so often I see posts on this forum where the sheer naivety amazes me.

    Currently there's a thread in the Digital forum where someone asked the common question of ''how much post processing...'' and as predictable there was a reply telling the OP to get it right in the camera.

    I am sorry but did Sony or some other company release a camera which does customisable USM in camera? What about dodging and burning? Selective and adjustable tone control? My Nikon does none of this.

    What gives.
     
  2. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Keep in mind that those posters are Digital Babies. They never set a foot in a darkroom unless it was their kitchen at 3am to get a snack and not let the wife or husband know. :lol:

    They have no clue that back in the film days post processing occurred when they sent their film off to the lab, be it a high quality lab or the one used by Walmart. Terms like dodge or burn are unknown so they don't understand that everything was post processed, just by someone else.

    Most probably don't even realize that if they shoot in .jpg that the camera manufacturer has set the camera up to do post processing in camera. Otherwise there wouldn't be the questions about RAW that are all the time popping up.

    Keep in mind that part of the problem is that the last couple of generations were raised on TV and video games. They are not used to the old fashion method of RTFM or other materials. They are used to turning on a box and having the info handed to them. Unfortunately there is no Nikon or Canon Channel. They just want to pick it up and go. While that may be fine for a video game, it doesn't work so well for a camera. If only Canon or Nikon would put cheat's in their cameras so you could type in a code and get Ansel Adams mode. :lmao:
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I know what you mean. I recently had someone ask me if those colors "are real or made in Photoshop?" I answered "Both." They were made in Photoshop, as there is no such thing as a "true color" photo process, yet I feel that were the viewer to stand where I was standing that day, under similar lighting, they would see that my colors were fairly accurate to reality. Although that's no guarantee that if they were to try and take the same photo themselves that their colors would turn out as nice as mine, particularly if they don't understand processing.

    Some of the contact printers of the late 19th century claimed that photogs who "fixed it in the darkroom" weren't good enough photographers. After WWI the automated processing and printing of film was so common that several generations of photographers have grown up thinking that photos are created with the push of a button, and all the magic occurs in camera (tiny magic elves).

    My opinion is that the photographer wants to take pride in the creation of the photo, yet if they credit over half the work to lab techs it sort of lessens it. It's easier on the ego to pretend that processing isn't important or that it's some sort of trick.

    Don't worry about it. The photographers who have understood the importance of processing, whether they do it themselves or hire skilled lab techs to take care of it, have almost always ended up with better photos than those who disregard what happens after the exposure is made.

    It's like people saying "Great photo, you must have a nice camera." What can you do? Photography is considered a pud art: anyone can do it.

    One thing we can do is to stop calling it "post processing". All processing is post exposure processing. Get rid of the "post" and call it what it is: processing. And while we're at it stop using the term "crop factor". If we all stop using it maybe it will go away, and we can just go back to discussing different formats like the last 150 years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Soon we will have this. We will be able to replace camera manufacturer processing software with Adobe (or whoever) processing software. We'll be able to upload our favorite Lightroom presets into our camera.

    Even so this still won't change the fact that processing is vital. It just changes the physical location of where it occurs.
     
  5. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you're going for a realistic and natural look, I think it's best to get it as right as possible in the camera so that you spend less time dicking around on your computer and more time getting out to get great photos.

    Most of my processing is minimal, usually involving only contrast, saturation and tone tweaking. I'll also rotate and crop if I feel I didn't get it quite right.

    Post processing can correct small technical mistakes and emphasize certain aspects of a photo, but it's not going to make a good result out of a shot with lousy composition, lighting, balance, gesture, etc.

    Wasn't the dark room full of "post processing" equipment before digital sensors were ever invented?
     
  6. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Im never just 'fixing mistakes', im creating the image i want.

    I couldn't agree more with the OP... so many times i see good photographers with years of experience preaching only about how PP can correct mistakes but by 'getting it right' in camera should minimise PP... i mean, for what? Certainly not for the type of work i produce.

    I spend time with my PPing.. for me its part of the whole process of creating an image. Of course, according to Mr. Rockwell people like me are 'Tweekers' or someone who just like to 'twidde' with my images. (/facepalm).
     
  7. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I keep explaining and explaining more to people that when I work on a photo in Photoshop I'm not "fixing errors" or making amends for things that went wrong. OK, I still manage to create slanting horizons and I do "fix" those, but my dad did the same in the darkroom when he put the paper for the print onto the table at a slant so the horizon would then look right! And he dodged and burnt, too, I witnessed that!

    I understand processing in Photoshop as "making my photo more mine". Which says the very same Arch said: "it is the whole process of creating an image", I emphasise it and say "my image". Since I'm not SUCH a photoshop whizz, my work is usually short and quick, and photos that have technical errors will simply get deleted, as no Photoshop can make THAT go away!

    But when I feel that the image as it FIRST shows on the computer does not represent what I want to "say" with my photo, then I work on it further, so that in the end it is as close to the photo I wanted to create as possible. No more. No less.

    So Garbz: I hear you!

    (And I once more bit my tongue a little when I gave someone his photos - photographed him during his own potato harvest, he's a farmer - as a present and his farm aid said "With a camera like that photos must be this good" ... I never replied, just smiled ... and thought my thoughts).
     
  8. saycheese76

    saycheese76 TPF Noob!

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    You and Ansel Adams both. You are in good company. Even trying to get just a decent print in the darkroom, you have to spend a pretty good chunk of time. By that guy's logic, anything underexposed or overexposed is tweaking. Or shot with a filter. Or cropped.
     
  9. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, My nikon does not either, nore my Canon, Pentax, Olympus or even my Kodak, but what's it matter, I don't care who you are you don't need the camera to do that sht.

    Back to the initial subject, To be honest with you I'm one of those people who will tell beginners to get it right in the camera. There are many reasons for this, One major one is the simple fact that anyone with more than a year experience in post processing film or digital already knows, One can not "fix" a shitty photo with post processing. We know this, newbies do not so may as well not let them get into the mind set that Photoshop can fix anything. Another major one is photoshop it self. I create digital illustration work and yet I can not figure out photoshop to save my life. I personally feel that a person who is just trying to learn how to use their camera is not ready to take on learning Photoshop simultaniously. Mayas well tell them to get it right in the cameras and minimize the photoshop needs to the more smple easy to use functions like USM, brightness/contrast and whatnot.

    Long story short, get them into the mind set to take good photos then post process to great, not take junk and try to make it acceptable.
     
  10. pm63

    pm63 TPF Noob!

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    I've also come across this attitude. Many people, especially laypeople and non-photographers or at least people new to photography don't realise that processing is for minor improving tweaks such as contrast, levels, curves, etc, and that it doesn't totally transform a photo. They think that for you to have had to process it, it had to be rubbish in the first place and needed fixing. People don't realise that EVERY professional photo they see these days, in newspapers or magazines, is processed in some way, and God help them if they ever found out the lengths to which retouchers for beauty and glamour magazines go to!

    In fact, I think there's a very strong argument to be made for saying that it is less fair NOT to process a shot than it is to process one. Photos out of the camera never come out as the eye sees them. Often, we need localised adjustments to draw attention to the focal points in a photo rather than giving all elements equal attention (think vingettes or localised boosts in exposure). By processing, we are giving the shot the imact the scene had in real life.
     
  11. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Once again, I find myself disagreeing with you. Sorry, I don't have anything against you, really! :D

    You can get a photo as right as you possibly can in camera, but that doesn't mean it will be the most accurate depiction of what you saw. Even an expertly captured photograph won't necessarily have the same feeling as the real scene. That's not the photographer's fault; the machines we use for capturing images are just simple machines. Increasing or decreasing saturation or subtle vignetting or dodging is sometimes what's needed to make an image appear more "realistic and natural" according to how it should feel.
     
  12. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ah :thumbup:
     

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