Post-Processing Dilemma

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by GTX, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. GTX

    GTX TPF Noob!

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    I need to know whether or not I'm a complete idiot for thinking this way, or if my way of thinking is legit to a point...

    I seem to have this distaste for making major changes to a photo after the photo's been taken, aside from a few minor adjustments (cropping, resizing, and brightness, pretty much).

    I believe I feel this way because I think it just takes away from the original quality of the image, whether it be good or bad. If it's bad, I'd much rather look at WHY it was bad and do what I can to make it better using the camera rather than, say, photoshop.

    Now, my question to you all is... should this be something I really need to get over? Or is this something that may be a "Some other people think the same way, it's just preference"?
     
  2. Kimba

    Kimba TPF Noob!

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    it's preference as far as i'm concerned. I good photographer will be able to take the shots correctly and make the adjustments in the camera but may still like the processed look and others like to leave as is. i have been processing mine a little in lightroon, just adjusting white balance and slight cropping, upping my black etc.. but nothing major. on the other side of things, i have helped a local photographer process some work in CS2 and he will make peoples skin look like that of a china doll. it really comes down to what you like and in the long run, what customers like if you sell your pics. HTH! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  3. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    I always post-process. Every image gets at least some amount of tweaking, including messing with HSL if I want to bring something out or something's distracting. One can also replicate alternative processing methods like ambrotypes and tin types in post. Don't look at post-processing as a way to salvage a bad image; instead, look at it as a way to make a great image even better. Personally, I do this to create the best images I can, and judicious use of PP lets me do that.
     
  4. lvcrtrs

    lvcrtrs TPF Noob!

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    I think PP is a bit harder to wrap your head around if you come from the days of film long before computers and photo editing programs hit the scene. I think back then there was a lot more emphasis on taking the photo the way you wanted it to come out of the camera. I'm with you on the cropping, cloneing and resizing. But, it's amazing what you do with a picture by bringing up the shadows to see detail. While I have no interest in learning it so well to get a job with it, I look forward to learning more about adjusting lighting (think curves is the next thing I want to look into). Like everything, it's a tool and has it's place. Call it an option that people can or cannot take advantage of.
     
  5. GTX

    GTX TPF Noob!

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    I think I'm with Kimba most on this then. Minor things with colors would probably be the farthest I would go, unless someone REALLY demonstrated why it would be better to post process.

    In my case though, I'm not really looking to do this professionally. It's a hobby. I like it better when I take a picture and am like "I didn't edit that. That's just how it came out".

    ^.^

    But I totally understand some people's points of views though. Don't get me wrong, there's some AMAZING pictures that people make after they edit them... I just... like raw, original photos better I guess. :)
     
  6. moze229

    moze229 TPF Noob!

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    I'm always going to post process likely - I do not have the skill yet or have not been lucky enough to get very many shots that could do without PP. I know how you feel though - post processing adds a sense of "cheating" in a way. But really, it's just part of the process. Back in the film-only days, there were also certain processing techniques that were used to "alter" photos to the author's intent.

    Personally, I'm not going to allow a good shot to not be the best it can be just because I have to do a little PP. So I say it's not something you have to "get over", but I think that if you decide not to PP your likely not allowing your photos to be as good as they could be.

    At the end of the day, the individual has to set their own standards on how much or how far PP should go. Only you can decide that.

    Matt
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Hrm, I was talking to a friend about this just now. Could this not be a reaction to the extreme amount of post-processing we see in the media (marketing, advertising, fashion, glamour, etc.)?
     
  8. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    Something you have to understand, there are so few images that you have seen that are exact reproductions of nature. Back in the film days, people would use film that had high saturation for bright, and poppy colors. Ansel Adam's has several quotes that speak about post production.

    "Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships."

    and

    "The negative is comparable to the composer's score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways."

    as examples. The preference to PP is a personal one and if you want to limit it, then that is your choice to make. But if you prefer a "natural" image, you shouldn't feel bad about it.
     
  9. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    post processing is as fun to me as taking the pictures...
    maybe that makes me a bad photographer.
    but for me the whole process is an art.

    i dont think the pp vs no pp debate will ever end. (not saying that its an unnecessary discussion at all)

    just like anything else...people do what they like. the end result will not please everyone. rarely does anything. :D
     
  10. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    Yes, it's personal preference...and they're your pictures. If you don't want to PP them, don't. If someone else wants to do heavy PP work on their pictures, let them. And if another person just likes to do minor PP work to their images, that's their perogative.

    As the artist you should decide how you want to present your work.
    I hang out with a bunch of hobbyists and we all handle our images differently after they come out of the camera. A few prefer to get it right in camera and do as little PP work as possible after. A few others enjoy doing tone-mapping and HDR PP to their images. Some like using Photoshop to edit, some prefer to use Lightroom. I have never thought that any of these shooters were wrong for doing PP their way...heck, if we all PP'd our images the same way then what's the point of being individuals? Might as well be Borg.

    To each his own. Everyone is different. We are all individuals.

    It's your pictures, do what you want to them.
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Photographers have been post processing images since day 2 of photography.

    Today it's done with computers more so than in a darkroom.
     
  12. ocular

    ocular TPF Noob!

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    Both are fun. Uhhh..You are expressing your creativity when you pp. I've read tuts from the 90's on retouching using photoshop so lol.
     

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