Confidence Wobble

riffraff

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Hi

New to photography, working hard to capture lovely images that are in focus and are of a decent composition. But I’m having a major confidence wobble. In a FB group I’m in, last night someone posted the most beautiful image, they also posted their original image. Well it totally floored me, the original image was absolutely nothing like the final version. The subject wasn’t even in sharp focus, yet the final version was. Background was totally different. Light was totally different. When did photography become all about editing, and not about the image you took?

Should I even bother trying to get a decent picture, when I can just photoshop the hell out of it? Why bother with learning about camera settings when you can edit the image? Do I now have to spend a fortune on a laptop (only have an iPad) and a monthly subscription to photoshop?
 

Space Face

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Welcome.

I think the general consensus is to get as much right 'in camera' as possible and leave PP for the finer tweeks.

I doubt FB (albeit I'm not on it) is the best platform to learn and judge photographic skills tho I'm sure there is some decent stuff there too.
 

Jeff15

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Hello and welcome, Editing images is fun as long as you don't try and take the pee....... :smug:
 

snowbear

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Welcome aboard.

Your first three words are key - you are new. Like anything else, it takes practice.
 

Strodav

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The goal is an amazing image you are happy with and might just impress others. How you get there is up to you. Image processing is just another tool in the photographer's toolkit. Always try and get it right in camera, but it's nice to be able to "fix" one that isn't quite perfect if you want to. That's why I never throw an image away. I download my cameras to a rawimagestorage hard drive and then import to LR / PS / Topaz from there. As PP software has gotten more powerful, I have been able to save some shots from my archives that were really quite good subject wise, but not so good technically.

Similar things were/are done in film. I have made composite images with an Exacto knife and a cutting board, made masks to blur backgrounds, and dodge and burn is a very common practice when making prints in the darkroom. It's just much, much easier and much, much faster with digital images and modern PP software.
 

PJM

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As others have stated you should be creating images that please you and creating them in a way that you enjoy. While I do frequently edit images to adjust exposure, contrast, etc., I don't enjoy spending a lot of time on images for major edits. I enjoy the challenge of getting as much right as I can in camera.

PS: My confidence wobbles all the time.

PPS: Welcome to TPF. Enjoy.
 

Jeff15

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PS: My confidence wobbles all the time.

Mine too..... :encouragement:
 

Original katomi

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Hi , as others have said try to get as much correct when you take the shot and save the photo shop ( or equivalent) for the extra tweeks.
 
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riffraff

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Thank you! I think that’s exactly what I needed to hear. So picked up my camera and took Pops to my local garden centre. Took this, it’s not perfect, there’s tweaks that need to be done. BUT I like it, and I enjoyed taking it. 🤗
 

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Space Face

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Love the bokeh balls on that one.
 

viathelens

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Hi

New to photography, working hard to capture lovely images that are in focus and are of a decent composition. But I’m having a major confidence wobble. In a FB group I’m in, last night someone posted the most beautiful image, they also posted their original image. Well it totally floored me, the original image was absolutely nothing like the final version. The subject wasn’t even in sharp focus, yet the final version was. Background was totally different. Light was totally different. When did photography become all about editing, and not about the image you took?

Should I even bother trying to get a decent picture, when I can just photoshop the hell out of it? Why bother with learning about camera settings when you can edit the image? Do I now have to spend a fortune on a laptop (only have an iPad) and a monthly subscription to photoshop?

I think photography has always been about the image taken as well as the processing done. Ansel Adams' photographs are an example of this, as many people who visited Yosemite NP said "this doesn't look like the print I saw." Processing of an image is even more important today with the use of digital equipment. Getting the absolute best result is dependent upon the photographer having skill, the image being done the best it can be done given the situation, and the ability of the photographer to process the image using all available tools. Having said this, processing is dependent upon the desired goal of the photographer and the genre of the image taken: some images are taken with art in mind, some are taken with documentation in mind, some are taken as snapshots to define a moment in our lives, and on and on. You set your goals and then determine what it will take to meet your goals and everyone else will do what they want to do, too. There is nothing that says we all have to do the same thing, the same way.
 

SquarePeg

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If you're shooting raw then you'll need at least some minimal editing to get it to even look like the preview you see on your lcd when reviewing in camera.

Knowing how to edit to get the best out of your photos is a skill you need to learn but it doesn't mean every photo has to be unrecognizable from the original. A lot of the Facebook groups that are about Photoshop and Lightroom are places where people are practicing those skills and want to show off extreme before and after photos. Other groups are more about photo sharing and critique on the photo itself and not the processing.
You'll find that many/most of the photos you see online have been edited to bring out the best in the shot and straight out of the camera is just not going to compare - even if perfectly exposed and composed. In the end, like everything else, it's a matter of taste and very subjective.

Learn the camera piece first then watch a few tutorials on editing and practice.
 

weepete

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Heavily edited shots are really difficult to do well, and often there's a few telltale signs left that never look quite right. So it's usually better to start with a strong shot that's close to the original.

Just how much a photograph can be manipulated before it stops being a photograph and becomes digital art is an open question, and people tend to draw the line just beyond what they are willing to do themselves!

It also raises the question of honesty with the audience, if they were aware of extensive editing would it change their view of the image?

Sometimes it matters, sometimes it doesn't. Mike Kelly has a pretty well known series called "Airportraits", of composited planes leaving an airport. It's a fantastic concept and produces a striking image, but the audience intrinsically know it's a composite. Compare this with Peter Lik's "Moonlit Dreams", which is a fantastic image, and clearly a composite if you know what to look for. But when originally sold, his sales reps were denying that it was a composite, it caused quite a bit of controversay as he claimed to capture all his images in camera with no manipulation.
 

Grandpa Ron

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It does not take long in the digital world to realize, that digital photos almost always require some degree on post processing enhancement.

There is nothing complicated, often just a bit of tweaking of the contrast, brightness and saturation. Similar to the time, temperature and variable contrast papers used by darkroom aficionados. Of course, unless your monitor is properly calibrated, your photo only looks good on your screen.

But digital processing opened the door to easy, and most importantly, inexpensiveness experimentation. "What happens if I make this truck red?" and other such question becomes just a few mouse clicks away.

Over time I have decided in my mind to divide photography into two major path ways.

The first is the person who wants a photograph of the scene as it would look if you were standing in their shoes. Sort of a post process minimalist.
The second is the photo-artist, who looks at the photo as the canvas for the electronic brushes and paint. Some of these folk become quite proficient at the post processing art.

There is no right or wrong because photography is a big tent encompassing all the photographic arts. There are still contest for the best wet plate, Daguerreotype, tintype and other formats. chose what you like and let other have their fun their way.
 

mrca

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This is the kind of post we see regularly from someone new to photography who hasn't learned LR/PS. It is often accompanied with calling editing "cheating" like there are rules somewhere. It's called "photography" not cameraography and the goal is the final image. But as said above, learn to get it as much in camera, but in many cases, your vision of the shot will go beyond that and it is perfectly ok. In painting there was the Realism school, but then there was the Impressionists or the surrealists who departed from aping what was in front of the artist, photographers making art do the same. It is possible to make impressionistic photos and during the teens and 20's, there were active surrealist photographers. As a beginner, you are expecting a photo to ape what is in front of it. Yes, that can be done, but to the extent the photographer departs from that is ok, there are no rules prohibiting it and not only is it not "cheating" it is creating an image instead of using the camera like a xerox machine. I always suggest beginners check out Kelby training for Light room. Once you learn how your image can be improved beyond anything the camera can do, I have yet to see a beginner who abandoned post. In fact, they usually start out jacking saturation so much none of the colors resemble anything in nature. Not that that is "wrong" but is certainly gets boring if all that is done.
 

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