How much post processing do you do?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by RaymondC, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. Over the years I have limited myself to just Adobe Lightroom but I am taking the time to learn more of Photoshop now ...

    I've heard some pro's take footprints off sand and move trees.

    How much post processing do you guys do?
  2. You might find THIS THREAD - LINK from a day or so ago interesting.

    I do as much as each photo requires. Don't do much moving of trees or removing footprints, but I may do other types of post processing (dodging/burning, levels, curves, color nuances, shadow recovery) to bring out in my prints things I want to emphasize or that I feel add depth or dimension to the image.
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  3. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    Once I have reviewed my images in NX2 and selected which ones are "keepers" and further which ones are to be printed--off they go to PS. I do not use Lightroom simply because it does not fit with the way I run folders and shift files about.

    I have never moved a tree. I have however over time eliminated a forest full of them--along with poles, lines, rubbish, cars, people, and anything else that did not fit with how I wanted to see the image. PS gives all of the image adjustment tools of LR plus a whole lot more--so any image I intend to print gets 'processed' pretty much as Fred describes--plus whatever other changes or manipulations (each with its own distinct layer) made and saved as a PSD file. This way I can return to any version or change and change, print, or re-visualize as I wish.

    There also it will contain all of the printer color profile(s) selected for the image, and other printing instructions as to paper and finish, size, coating densities, so on and so forth to make further prints easily and exactly replicated.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  4. Why is it 'post' anything? I make pictures. The whole thing is a process.
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  5. SCL


    Whatever is required to achieve the results I want. I rarely move objects or people, but often "airbrush" out distractions, just like in the old ays with film. Most of my post processing is merely adjusting the tonal range to suit my tastes and light sharpening.
  6. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    I usually remove a few wrinkles and give my wife a tummy tuck. She appreciates that. Anything that shouldn't be in a photo automatically draws the viewer to it. A small white distant "No Parking" sign for example. Out it goes. I learned long ago to look into a scene and see what doesn't belong there and eliminate it before taking the photo. Shoes in a corner or an old newspaper on a couch or floor must be removed..

    Back in the days before digital I took a photo of my son on the church steps in his confirmation gown. There was a dried up leaf on the step that I didn't notice. In the photo it looked like a dead mouse. Everyone would look at the photo and then ask, "What is that?" I finally used water color paints to touch it out of the photo and then rephotographed the result, developed the film and made another print from that. Believe me, Photoshop is a lot faster and easier.
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  7. Somewhere or another, I have one of those retouching stations with a built in light table and a "vibrating" platform to help with retouching. I keep meaning to clean it up and giving it a try.

    I've shot a little bit of TXP-320, including some in-date 4x5 and some expired 220. I mention that because I've been told that it's the only recent production film that is "toothed" to allow manual retouching.

    Maybe one of these days I'll break down and give it a shot. I know manual retouching is quite an art, and folks who were good at it use to get paid big bucks(and some sometimes spend several hours working on a negative).
  8. While I can totally understand your wanting to get rid of the dead leaf, it's sometimes not such a bad thing when something in a photo causes viewers to look carefully enough and ask questions! It probably wasn't the case here, but just those sorts of things can act as McGuffins at times. :)
    Whoa there. Let's take a breath. They must be removed if the photo and what you're after demand it, according to your vision. I often utilize shoes in a corner or newspapers on a couch to give character and texture to a room. They can be important signifiers of life being lived and add narrative to an image.
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  9. I pretty much am good with LR5 basic module and the module for sharpening.. Generally about 1 minute per frame and it's ready to print.. Film has a cost so I spend the time required to make sure the negative will be real nice. No issues with removing a distracting element with my healing brush tool.
  10. As much or as little as it takes to get the image to look the way I want it. Standard workflow is

    - viewing/culling in BreezeBrowser
    - processing with ACR/photoshop

    Alternatives include DxO PhotoLabs or On1 Photo RAW 2018; followed by finishing in photoshop. While I do have LR, it's not a program I like to use. Capture One (for Sony) is currently under evaluation for processing images taken with the Sony A7II; again images will be finalized in photoshop.
  11. I use Paintshop Pro and do basically 3-4 things on most images. I keep my camera settings a bit low on saturation and sharpening, to give myself more freedom to post process. I only shoot jpegs. The first thing I do is an unsharp mask. In PSP the settings are 0.9 pixel radius and strength of 90. That suits my ancient D200 about right without any evidence of oversharpening on the edges. Next is histogram adjustment. I usually stretch the midtones a bit and put the gamma wherever it needs to be for overall look. Essentially I'm messing with the contrast and brightness, but without cutting anything off like it would if I just changed contrast and brightness. Finally I use what they call "local tone mapping". I think it might be some variation of an unsharp mask, but using much larger area settings. Used judiciously it gives many images a bit more punch. I don't know if something similar is available in other programs, or what it would be called. I put those three icons right up on the tool bar because I use them so much. After that basic stuff, and only if necessary, I might use a clone tool to fix small areas and a color tool of one sort or another to bring the image to neutral or whatever is needed. I'll often resample and optimize the jpg if I'm putting an image on the 'net. It would be quite rare for me to use the other dozens of tools available, but you need what you need.

    Here's the above, plus a bit of color enhancement (probably went overboard), camera image then processed image:


    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  12. Not much, apart from the usual: cropping, exposure correction, lens corrections. The stuff that does not turn a photograph into a painting. But I separate post-processing from manipulation and retouching. They're different things.

    Sometimes an item might have a bit of dust on it, but it's just easier to clean the object first. But in case I am silly enough to not notice, I eliminate that with the spotting tool in DxO (and before that, Aperture). I think for commercial work it's fine to retouch or spot, as the image exists to sell a product. But even when I'm doing commercial stuff, I just take the photo. Fundamentally I want to represent the object honestly, albeit as nicely as possible.

    There aren't very many uses that I would have for compositing software such as Photoshop etc. Focus stacking is one technique that is very useful (e.g. wristwatches) but there is dedicated software for that. Some Olympus models have that feature built-in, though it is not as flexible as software stacking.

    But I would never do the proverbial sign post removal for anything outside of commercial work. If I had $100 for each time I manipulated or retouched a photo, I'd be poor.
  13. I do whatever I feel like doing to make the pix look the way that I want it to.
    Most of the time I do very little heavy editing (because it is time consuming), other times I do a LOT (because I have to for various reasons).
    I am more willing to spend more time and effort on post processing a single pix, vs. a lot of pix as in a party.
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  14. On my photos: On the rare times when I've shot for a news organization, almost nothing, because you can't. The rest of the time, which is mostly for my own enjoyment, and occasionally for events, I'll do what the photo seems to demand.

    On photos of certain public figures downloaded from the web: I sometimes distort, add sharpness and contrast beyond all reason, add facial hair, subtract teeth, then delete the file. I never share such "work" and rarely admit to doing it.
  15. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
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  16. For me it is all about the final image and/or the print. Since I am not claiming my photos are the literal truth, so all is fair........

    When viewing one of my prints I have been asked if I had "photoshopped" it. I try to nicely explain that I find it curious that
    they are not interested in the camera model=, type of sensor, settings etc, or how and why I might have changed some tonal values.

    To me, from the moment you capture a three dimensional image onto a two dimensional substrate.......its all "photoshopped" to one degree or another.
  17. Hi, it's interesting question. I can't find normal link with free presets to Canon, so using one site.
    Sure "fix the photo . com" have a lot of it, but always want to have more, I'm right?) Could you share sites? I'll be appreciate!
  18. Depends. For scientific and legal work no modifications at all aside from exposure corrections and such.

    It's art, not data. Sometimes too much, sometimes not enough, but no nasty- looking can will survive PS unless it's the reason for the shot.
    Raison d'etre
  19. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    As little as I can. I hate working on the computer.
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  20. 1) Crop to frame as appropriate for the subject.
    2) Rotation if required to correct for tilted camera.
    3) Full-image area colour balance and gamma correction.
    4) Removal of sensor dust spots, if any.

    (1) and (2) are equivalent of what was done by adjusting the height of the enlarger head, and by selecting the size, shape and position of the paper underneath it. (3) is what was done by selecting the film and paper type, and by adjusting the chemical process. (4) is equivalent to removing the dust spots and film gate and processing scratches on the negative.

    Anything else takes the image over the line separating photography from creative computer graphics. I have no interest in creative computer graphics, but understand some people do, and I have no objection to them practicing their hobby. (That they call themselves "photographers" I find mildly amusing, but I know full well there's no law against it...).
    Moving On likes this.

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