Random Beginner Question

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by JTG40cal, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. JTG40cal

    JTG40cal TPF Noob!

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    So as the thread title notes, I am new to digital photography (http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photography-beginners-forum-photo-gallery/170022-noob.html) and was just wondering, how much does post-production count for a lot of the amazing pictures I see on here? I mean aside from the obvious natural talent (composition, framing, subject matter, etc.). Is having the talent, a more than capable body, and the best lenses enough without digital enhancement? Should I be thinking about programs such as photoshop (after learning the basics of course)? Here are a couple examples of what I am talking about (from the June POTM thread):

    http://www.intempusphotography.com/photos/570263501_h3wqG-XL.jpg

    http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k72/mudpie_01/WindyPath2.jpg

    These are stunning pictures, but how much of the final product due to graphical enhancements (which is another remarkable skill entirely)?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Note: TPF Terms of Service explicitly prohibit the posting of images that are not your own. You have to link to them instead.

    The first one belongs to Tharmsen, and AFAIK, he's accomplishing that particular look with a relatively harsh top light. I think it was an AlienBee with a shade and white diffuser on it, but my memory is faulty. That said though, I think creative lighting was the major factor in that image. PP work too, perhaps, but maybe Tharmsen will chime in on just how much PP he did.

    Photoshop is a useful tool to have in the kit. For say, models, there's only so much you can cover-up with powder, clever lighting and angles. Sometimes some airbrushing is necessary if you want to give them a perfect complexion.

    Post-processing has been a pretty big part of photography for as long as photography has been around. Whether it be alternative methods like cross-processing, cyanotypes, or tin types, or airbrushing, or colour enhancements, photogs have been tinkering with their captured images for a long time. Ansel Adams could spend weeks in the darkroom working on a single image, for example. Good PP skills will let you do things with your images that you couldn't before, but it won't make-up for poor lighting, mixed colour temps, or other bad choices in-camera.
     
  3. JTG40cal

    JTG40cal TPF Noob!

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    Sorry about that! I was actually questioning myself as to whether or not it would be alright to post someone else's pics. That's why I referenced where I found them (e.g., the PTOM thread). Ill remove them now.

    And thanks for the info. I really appreciate it.
     
  4. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    It's different for every photographer. For me, personally, I'm starting to see the raw image as nothing more than a rough draft. I get things the way I want them knowing what editing I will do to get the look I'm after. Take the toilet pic for example. I knew how I wanted the shadows cast in the image. The raw image doesn't look nearly as bold as the final edit. Here's the raw image as it came out of the camera.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the lighting setup I used to cast the harsh shadows.

    [​IMG]

    The image was cropped (took some off the right side) and I used a digital version of an old film technique called "bleach bypass". Here's some info on the process.

    Bleach bypass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Right now this is my favorite type of processing. But tastes and styles change, but right now I'm doing shoots that I know (or I believe) will work good with this process. Here's the final product of the shot in question.

    [​IMG]

    I hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2009
  5. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    As a side note, feel free to post any of the images I make available online anywhere you like on the internet - just be sure to use links to my site. I ask that you don't copy them to your own web server or edit them. Otherwise, they're free game as I have posted them publicly.

    :D
     
  6. Sachphotography

    Sachphotography TPF Noob!

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    Do do your own method of a Bleach bypass? I have used the plugin in Nik Color effects pro and it look identical to your results. Just curious.
     
  7. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I used to use a method outlined in the book " The Adobe Photoshop CS3 Book for Digital Photographers" but have since discovered Nik Software which I really like. So yes, I use Nik software now. I don't always get the desired results with the Nik plug-in so I'll revert back to the manual method from time to time.
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ultimately what people don't realise is that their photos were previously always processed. A lot of the complaints especially from photographers new to digital is that their film shots looked better. Yes because someone in the lab did the processing for you.

    The camera captures the negative. It's your job then to finish the photo or put it though some generic process if you couldn't be bothered. But careful detail in processing can mean the difference between an Fantastic photo and a breathtaking photo.
     
  9. JTG40cal

    JTG40cal TPF Noob!

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    Tharmsen, THANK YOU! That is more than I could have hoped for. I really appreciate you giving me a look "behind the curtain". Everything from the raw image (which was still amazing to me), to the lighting set up, to the final image. It definitely gives me a better understanding of how everything works. Not that I could do something like that right now, even with the same equipment. Just like motorcycle riding...its not necessarily the machine, but moreso the rider.
     
  10. Sachphotography

    Sachphotography TPF Noob!

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    The concept goes missed all to often. People think that they can produce proffesional pictures just because they have money. It is the photographer.... Not the Camera that makes a good picture. I can garuntee that Tharmsen could take a 35mm from the 1970's and be able to produce the same results as he did here. It's not the camera.
     
  11. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    No no, it's been discussed; Tharmsen's photos are good because of the 1D. It probably suggested a bleach bypass in the first place. :lol:

    Ahem, right. More seriously, bleach bypass? *facepalm* (In the "Oh darn, should've caught that" kinda way.)
     

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