Some Questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mitko007, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. mitko007

    mitko007 TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,
    i've been visiting the forum for a while. A learned a lot here and i must say that you are a big help for beginners like me. I still have some questions a would like to ask
    1. I have read somewhere that 90% of all good photos are post processed. So how really important is post processing? Is it possible to shot a very good image that doesn't need to be post processed (from all pictures i've seen here i think that almost all where post processed).

    2. I still have some problems understanding the metering function on my camera. How does metering work, what should i meter exactly and should i do it always before taking a shot?

    Thats all for now...Thanks ;)
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Look at it this way - when you shoot film if you don't post proces you just get a roll of film that you can't ever see - digital might let you see the shot right after shooting, but that does not mean its ready yet. From starting out to being a pro editing is a key part of photography - yes you will get shots that hardly need any at all compared to those that need loads.
    If you want further proof just take a shot and run an auto levels edit over it - 9 times out of 10 it works on auto mode with no need to go manual - and the result is very noticable. If you want some advice take a look here:
    http://www.ronbigelow.com/articles/articles.htm
    That site contains a lot of info on how to edit shots - and its understandable too
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There isn't really a right or wrong way to do it. Some people prefer to do less editing and some like to do more. Some of us like to take the shot in such a way, so that it will be optimized for editing rather than looking good right out of the camera.

    As for metering...that's a big subject.
    In a nutshell, the cameras meter reads the tones that it sees and gives you settings for a predetermined mid-level...18% grey for example. This works well when the average of the scene is...well average. Keep in mind the metering mode your camera has or is set to...that will determine which parts of the image the camera is looking at.

    If the scene (or the part that you are metering) is not 'average' the meter will still give you settings to turn it average. For example, if you are shooting a whole scene of white snow, the meter will try to make it average...grey. If you are shooting a black dog, the meter will try to make that average....grey.
    So you need to understand that the camera's meter isn't always giving you a reading for an accurate exposure...it depends on what it is metering and how far away it is from middle tone.
    So once you know that the meter might not be accurate, you can adjust the settings away from the meter's suggestion. When you subject is bright, the meter tries to make it darker, so you need to add exposure. When your subject is dark, you need to subtract exposure.

    Of course, photography is an art, so you can set your exposure any way you like...it's not right or wrong if you want it to look a certain way.
     
  4. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    I look at it this way. I own a Canon. If I didn't post process photos, then I would consider every photo a I shoot a "Canon" photo. Post processing makes me feel like its "my" photo; a view of the world, seen the way I want it to be seen... with a little help from Canon of course :p
     
  5. mitko007

    mitko007 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info....

    About post processing - so isn't everything than going away for photography as we post process. With the improving software programms we could get a almost perfect photo from a "bad" original picture. I exclude cases where we intentionally do that to get a desired result (as selective coloring for example...)


    About the metering issue - as i could understand, if im shooting a black dog on a snowy background for example, if i meter the dog it would adjust exposure of the snow to that of the dog, and the other way around ???
     
  6. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    If you zero metered on the dog in this situation, chances are your going to blow out the snow; big time if the sun is out. You can always underexpose meter on the dog but will lose detail of the dog; using manual mode of course. Either way, black dog on white snow background is a lose-lose situation without proper use of a flash. Flashes can get messy so I rarely use one.

    If you are really good at it and willing to take the time, you can mask exposures during post processing but I'm getting a feeling from your earlier responses that you feel post processing is a waste of time.

    Hope this helps answer some of your questions.
     
  7. mitko007

    mitko007 TPF Noob!

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    No surely i dont think post processing is a waste of time....i even do it my self (so much as i can :wink:). I was just trying to find out if those good shots i see here around are a reslut of good photography or prost processing afterwards....
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You talk as if photo editing is a new thing. Manipulating photos has been going on for just about as long as photography has existed. With the digital era, the editing happens on a computer, rather than a darkroom. There will always be some great shots, right out of the camera...but most people find that there are always things they can do to change or improve their images...or maybe it's just experimentation.

    The camera's meter doesn't know what you are shooting...it just measures tones. So if you had a black dog on white snow...it's like maulrat said, it's a loosing situation because the camera can't keep detail in both the snow and the dog in one exposure, they are just too different. It's your job as a photographer to decide which is more important and expose for that.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Probably a combination of the two.
     
  10. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS - this is most important
    Focus is the one thing I have not been able to post-process. Also have not read anything about Photoshop being able to fix this with any degree of success. Maybe CS4 when it becomes available? I can't do it with Elements. I think there are some tricks to "sharpen" picture, but nothing close to focus that is done correctly first time.

    There are other tricks such as "under-expose is better then over-expose". Photoshop can "brighten" under-exposed ... PS can not darken over-exposed.

    For me the end result is all that matters - sure wish PS can use some kind of algorithm to help get rid of movement blur.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    actually it can't brighten a really bad underexposure either - but dark patches do not assult the eye of the viewer like overexposed ones do -- so its easier to work with them.
    The underexposure factor tend to work best in very bright sunlight - preserving the highlights from blowing out - so chances are you won't end up with huge dark areas in such cases
     
  12. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I wish people would get away from the term "post processing". There are 2 distinct types of "post processing" in my opinion.

    Answer this question. What do you do with a roll of film after you remove it from the camera? The answer, you either develop it or you have it developed. What happens during that development? The image is manipulated to give the best representation of the scene and the print is the best that it can be.

    With digital, I would rather see the term "digital development" used. You have the original file and you "develop" it to best represent the scene. This involves levels adjustment, curves, noise reduction, sharpening, and perhaps more. I do what I list as digital photo development.

    The 2nd type of "post processing" is image editing. This is where you are changing the image from what the scene originally looked like.

    When it is said that "90% of all good photos are post processed", I am taking that they mean the "digital development" that I mention above. With this, you are merely doing to a digital image similar to what you or a developing company does to a film image.
     

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