Post Processing : how much is too much?

sonic64

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Hello. I need your comments on this photo. Being new to photography I always wonder about whether to use post processing and to what extent . I know by now that it has become a controversial topic for some. The idea that you change and manipulate a photo after it’s been taken is seen by some as changing reality; creating something that’s ‘fake’. I personally think processing lets you see the hidden potential in a photo.


View attachment 48127
 

12sndsgood

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Post it on here and you will get more responces. but its like what is art. people will tell you that they know it when they see it. one persons over processed is another persons starting point.
 

cgipson1

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If it is easily noticeable.. typically it is too much! But it depends on the image, the intent, the subject, etc...
 
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sonic64

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here it is
$IMG_0424_reduced.jpg
 

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If you think a photo might be over processed then it is over processed.
 
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sonic64

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To tell the truth I had no intent at all. The original image didn't have anything special. I threw it into post processing and that was the result...yes I agree, looks like a scene from a zombie movie :) But it triggered the question abt how much is too much. This one is definitely overcooked. How abt these?

$anfaplace-1.jpg$anfaplace2-1.jpg$anfaplace3-1.jpg
 

amolitor

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Most post processing that's actually done is just farting around to make it look cool. I don't see anything particularly wrong with that.

Still, I think most people would agree that post processing that's purposeful is better.

You can use post to emphasize the parts that you want emphasized (brighten, darken, sharpen, increase saturation) and de-emphasize what you want emphasized. You can push things visually more together or pull them apart: these things are a less important mass, and they are all together; these things are separate and different, and that difference matters.

The visible/not-visible threshold is an interesting one.

First of all, what's "visible" depends on the viewer, and on time. What's invisible now might well have been outré and bizarre 30 years ago.

Second of all, it really depends on what you're doing. If your post is "visible" you're in the land of the unreal, more or less by definition. If you're ok with your picture looking unreal, if that's part of the point of the thing, well great. If not, not so great.

My current favorite example is Mario Giacommelli's photograph from Scanno, 1963, of the small boy walking toward the camera with his hands in his pockets, flanked by women in black robes. It's deliberately dreamlike, and wildly unreal looking. But it works.
 

jenko

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I think it really depends on what you are going for and personal aesthetic. The child does look like a zombie, lol, but say you had 10 portraits of children all looking like zombies. Then say you had a pretty articulate artist statement as to why you processed the images this specific way. Maybe you are commenting on how children take urban legends literally which ties into Slavoj Zizek's Parallax View. A few well selected quotes by Spinoza and bam, gallery representation! ;)
 

cgipson1

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To tell the truth I had no intent at all. The original image didn't have anything special. I threw it into post processing and that was the result...yes I agree, looks like a scene from a zombie movie :) But it triggered the question abt how much is too much. This one is definitely overcooked. How abt these?

View attachment 48139View attachment 48140View attachment 48141

Are you Sofia Lazrak? If not, then you not allowed to post her images.. only a link to them. In my opinion, these are all noticeably overcooked... halos, unnatural skies, overly saturated colors! But some people would find these acceptable... even though I don't!
 

Derrel

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Post processing to 'extreme' levels is a topic where the discussion often splits along generational lines, or along educational lines, or along narrow-minded,traditionalist versus open-minded, new school lines. There are many old fashioned people who loathe anything (and I mean ANYTHING) that deviates from accurate color and accurate color balance, and they will scream "Calibrate your monitor! Your work is awful!" if there happens to be 15cc too much magenta in an image of a baby, and so on. Millenials (born 1983-2001,roughly) often LOVE odd color effects.

This is a lot like asking for opinions on death metal bands, or on what's the best country music artist--in the WRONG place; that is to say, the replies you get will often be very divided, and often derisive. Often useless replies. Of course, if you ask the right people the right question, you can get an answer or two that might be helpful. Again: some people simply can NOT deal with anything that is non-representational, expressionistic, abstract, or 'different' from what they grew up idealizing.
 
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sonic64

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Post processing to 'extreme' levels is a topic where the discussion often splits along generational lines, or along educational lines, or along narrow-minded,traditionalist versus open-minded, new school lines. There are many old fashioned people who loathe anything (and I mean ANYTHING) that deviates from accurate color and accurate color balance, and they will scream "Calibrate your monitor! Your work is awful!" if there happens to be 15cc too much magenta in an image of a baby, and so on. Millenials (born 1983-2001,roughly) often LOVE odd color effects.

This is a lot like asking for opinions on death metal bands, or on what's the best country music artist--in the WRONG place; that is to say, the replies you get will often be very divided, and often derisive. Often useless replies. Of course, if you ask the right people the right question, you can get an answer or two that might be helpful. Again: some people simply can NOT deal with anything that is non-representational, expressionistic, abstract, or 'different' from what they grew up idealizing.

Thanks Derrel. Makes total sense...
 

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