How much post processing do you do?

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

  1. A gentleman never asks that question
  2. Crop duster........I prefer the camera to the computer when possible (most contemporary cameras being themselves computers).
  3. For me, it's not a matter of preferring one over the other, just like I don't feel I have to have a preference between eating and sleeping since I'm perfectly capable of doing both and allotting my time accordingly. Of course, if I did have to choose, I'd choose eating and sleeping over either cameras or computers. :)

    I consider taking pictures with a camera and then post processing them all part of the joy of making photos.
    Gerald Cafferty likes this.
  4. I don't "feel" about it at all.
    I simply prefer using a camera to sitting in front of the computer when it comes to how I produce a photograph.
    Probably because the computer has become too associated with work in the last decade or so.
    I can certainly see where many variations of the interplay between the two fit individual preference.
    I certainly enjoy reviewing and learning from the photos of others here.
    That requires the computer.......
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
    Sandy Vongries likes this.
  5. I think Julie said it best, "The whole thing is a process."

    When I shot film, the negative wasn't the last step, neither is my RAW file today. I expose my RAW in such a way that maximizes the data collected, in RAW conversion, I "normalize" to bring the EV down and the Contrast up. It's no different from varying your exposure time when burning a print from a negative. Often, I'll shoot with a crop in mind. like going from 3:2 to 1:1 or 2:1, etc. I did that with film, but not as freely and easily. Is Cropping post-processing, or processing? I think it's processing.

    Do I remove things (other than dust spots) from images or add things to images? Very seldom, but occasionally I'll remove things. I can't remember ever adding anything.
    Norma Desmond likes this.
  6. ?

    Just for a bit of clarity, here's the definition of "preference" from Merriam Webster (emphasis is mine):
  7. My most personally satisfying photos are the ones I process the least.
  8. I'll leave you to your feelings ........
    And your dictionary.
  9. And I, you to yours! :)
  10. I think you have to think in terms of post-processing and in terms of what the image needs according to what it is that made you see and take the picture in the first place. Sometimes this might mean less post-processing and other times it might mean more elaborate post-processing. With practice this becomes as intuitive as thinking in terms of composition and light when taking photographs. But if you don't post-process just for the sake of not post-processing (which seems as pointless as post-processing for the sake of post-processing) then why bother with the taking of the picture in the first place?

    Below is an example of an image that I worked on yesterday (still not completely done with it). I changed the image to my preferred aspect ratio (inherited from having shot for a long time on 6x7 medium format) while keeping the main composition intact and processed it into monochrome (I also process in color but there's still too much to learn and discover when it comes to seeing in b&w). Then there's a bit of standard darkroom tweaking here and there (which may take a long time in that it can be a process of putting the image aside for awhile so that I can come back to it and re-evaluate newer versions with a 'fresh eye') and that's when for most of my images the post-processing would be done.

    In this case some additional post-processing was necessary to bring out more of the potential of the image (the symbolic and slightly surreal vibe of the scene and which is what caught my eye). At first I thought the Michelin logo added a lighthearted element to the whole scene and I was ok with it. But the more I looked at the picture the more the Michelin thingy bothered me. You can also see in the original that right behind the logo with the open/closed sign is another one of those summoning hands. So I got rid of the Michelin logo by cloning the middle hand of where the other hand would be if the open/closed sign with the Michelin logo wouldn't be there. And it results for a much better image in terms of what I was seeing and responding to when I took the picture.

    Supriyo likes this.
  11. To me it's always about the photograph and whether or not the image is as true as it can be which means it must be true to what I want it to be in terms of what it represents.

    As for not having the need for a particular tool, sometimes you don't immediately see a need for a tool until you have started and learn to use it (regardless of needing its use).
  12. I agree. Just want to add that sometimes seeing the image makes me think about it in newer ways and motivates me to bring out newer elements in it than what I envisioned in the first place during the shooting. This of course guides the post processing.
  13. Yes I forgot to add that sometimes it isn't after seeing the image that you find something in it which you might not have been so conscious or aware of at the time of taking the picture. Though I think it's always present on a subconscious level. For me at least a big part of going through the process and processing is in getting attuned to that deeper level.
  14. There's a matter-of-fact'ness about the world when it's recorded by a camera. Deliberate processing can bring out and enhance this quality that's so unique to photography while also pointing to something beyond it. During the whole process from picture taking to final image I'm both a photographer (within the Atget / Evans traditon and lineage) and an image maker (and the camera simply happens to be one of the tools used to make images with).
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017

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