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In Defense of Post Processing
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Dec 22, 2018 16:43:42   #
rmalarz (a regular here)
 
I agree. I just took time to view some of the images posted. You're correct in your assessment.
--Bob
mwsilvers wrote:
Oh yeah. I looked at most of the images he's posted. Really impressive stuff, right? Judicious use of PP might rescue some of them, but the rest are better discarded unless the specific subject renders them important enough to keep despite their mediocre quality. If you are going to talk the talk, you better be able to walk the walk. This guy "talks" but can't "walk".
Oh yeah. I looked at most of the images he's poste... (show quote)

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Dec 22, 2018 16:51:09   #
jackm1943 (a regular here)
 
Bill P wrote:
1. Anyone who thinks a SOOC jpeg is totally unprocessed is a fool. A raw file is flat and lifeless and can't be shown.

2 AA did a lot of darkroom manipulation. Were he alive today, he would be skilled in PS.

3. In the late unlamented 70's, I worked in a commercial studio, we worked with advertising agencies mostly, and did a bit of business making what were called composite prints. they were made with pin registration, lith film masks, and 4x5 or 2 1/4 square negs. After printing, they were sent to a graphic artist that would soften the crisp transition left by the mask, with subtle airbrushing. It was considered normal, and many of the folks bitching about PP probably saw the results and didn't say a word.
1. Anyone who thinks a SOOC jpeg is totally unproc... (show quote)


This sounds a little like unsharp masking that I mentioned earlier.

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Dec 22, 2018 17:02:32   #
Delderby (a regular here)
 
Sounds like all posters in this topic are defending their own position.

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Dec 22, 2018 17:02:41   #
Regis (a regular here)
 
rond-photography wrote:
This is my first "new topic", and it may come across as a little bit of a rant, but I hope it helps guide some newbies.

Post Processing is dismissed by some as not being pure; the detractors feel that only photos coming out perfect in camera are acceptable.
I disagree, and I base that on over 40 years of shooting (so, yes, I have shot film!).

When I got my first SLR in 1971, I started shooting as much as I could afford - it cost money to buy the roll of film and money to get it processed (no option except to post process when you shoot film).

I was usually disappointed because my pictures never looked as I remembered the scene. Mostly, at first, I shot color print film. Skies were blown out. People were weird colors, etc.
It took me a while to figure out that part of the problem was the way labs processed the photos. When I shot transparencies (the jpeg of the film world - because it was pretty much whatever you caught on that slide was what you were stuck with, ala jpeg), I found that the camera actually could produce good photos, but the issue of color prints still bugged me.
Shooting black and white, then sending it to the lab, was no better.

Over the years, I came to find out that the award winning images that we see everywhere are NOT always Straight Out Of Camera. When I made my own darkroom, I found that there were tools such as dodging and burning that were commonly applied in a darkroom to almost every good print. Test exposures in the darkroom were the norm - you didn't just set the timer for 10 seconds and expose the paper - you made a strip test to see how long you needed to expose for the best overall image, and you saw where parts were blown out or under exposed and dodged or burned those areas, maybe even applying a vignette.

Color was trickier since home processing was less forgiving than black & white, but I tried it, and had moderate success (color correction was tricky and I never spent enough time or money to get that perfect).

Ultimately, I found that certain labs (not my corner drug store) could produce excellent prints from my negatives and stuck with them from then on.

In the digital world, we apply the term "Photo Shopped" to many images (but it should be post processing, since we don't all use PS any more than all photocopier machines are Xerox copiers). It is often used in a derogatory manner, sometimes deservedly so. It is definitely possible to over process a photo and make it look unnatural. This can be done to advantage for some subjects, but if every photo you take looks "crunchy", you might be overdoing it.
It is better to keep it simple and just use the techniques that were most often used (and most easily understood) in the analog darkroom.

I contend that you MUST post process. Otherwise, you will get those blah photos that the film users among us have seen again and again.
As the photographer, you owe it to yourself and your audience to process those photos in the best lab (your own), and not just take what the camera produces.
It is rare that I have taken a photo and simply exported it as a jpeg without it first requiring exposure, shadow, highlight, white balance, and sharpening adjustments at a minimum.
There have been several, out of about 100,000 digital images I have, that were good without any adjustments, but that is extremely rare.

In the digital darkroom, we use the same techniques used in the analog darkroom - dodging, burning, adjusting for the best exposure, etc.
I am a huge advocate of LightRoom because it most closely matches the analog darkroom - terms are different, but the results and techniques are the same.
PhotoShop, with masks, becomes more complicated, but also has those simple tools embedded in it, so keep it simple and make great photos,
but don't dis' post processing - it will improve your photos immensely.
This is my first "new topic", and it may... (show quote)


I totally agree with you. I have been taking pictures for more than 50 years (I am 74) and went to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh of Pennsylvania and studied photography, etc. A photographer had very little control over the finished photo, so I am glad to have a little professional control of having the photo look it's best without going too far with PP except to give it a realistic professional look to it. To expect a photo to look it's best straight out of the camera is ridiculous. That is a amateur's point of view.

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Dec 22, 2018 17:10:51   #
Laura72568
 
Regis wrote:
I totally agree with you. I have been taking pictures for more than 50 years (I am 74) and went to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh of Pennsylvania and studied photography, etc. A photographer had very little control over the finished photo, so I am glad to have a little professional control of having the photo look it's best without going too far with PP except to give it a realistic professional look to it. To expect a photo to look it's best straight out of the camera is ridiculous. That is a amateur's point of view.
I totally agree with you. I have been taking pictu... (show quote)


Agree.

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Dec 22, 2018 17:11:19   #
ronpier (a regular here)
 
cmc4214 wrote:
I think the number of people who are against processing is dwindling fast. (I used to be one of them) Thanks to this forum, I realize that processing is part of photography. However I still believe that getting it right in the camera is the most important part


In my journey this year I have been concentrating on getting it right in the camera -i.e-proper exposure, focus, lighting, composition, etc. Nothing against PP but I am not where I want to spend that much time in the “darkroom”. I do some editing using the Photos app and that is enough for now. Many will disagree with my approach but in my hobby I prefer to first learn the science and mechanics and how to take great photos in camera. Maybe then I will take the “great” photos and improve them in PP. In the meantime I am having a lot of fun!! Ron

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Dec 22, 2018 17:55:58   #
Photographer Jim
 
"Support of extreme post-processing in defense of creativity is no vice, and insistence on 'straight out of camera' in pursuit of "purity" is no virtue". -Gary Boldwater-


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Dec 22, 2018 17:59:20   #
mudhen
 
Sometimes you can push a camera to its max, then end up with a lot of noise. PP can reduce that. We don't see digital noise or grain with our eyes. The other thing is lens distortion. That can only be fixed in PP.

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Dec 22, 2018 18:07:51   #
AndyH (a regular here)
 
ronpier wrote:
In my journey this year I have been concentrating on getting it right in the camera -i.e-proper exposure, focus, lighting, composition, etc. Nothing against PP but I am not where I want to spend that much time in the “darkroom”. I do some editing using the Photos app and that is enough for now. Many will disagree with my approach but in my hobby I prefer to first learn the science and mechanics and how to take great photos in camera. Maybe then I will take the “great” photos and improve them in PP. In the meantime I am having a lot of fun!! Ron
In my journey this year I have been concentrating ... (show quote)


It is all about having fun and producing work that you're proud of. I look at SOOC as a challenge to my skills, but even when the image is perfectly exposed to your liking, darkroom (or Lightroom) work will improve it. As others have pointed out, almost all of the greats of the age of film spent as much time or more in the darkroom than behind the lens. To my mind there is no special merit attached to not using all the tools available to help you create the best image you possibly can.

Andy

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Dec 22, 2018 18:15:24   #
Errickcameron
 
I looked at Dan's images. Could have some real beauties if he would move off his position. You don't know what you don't know.

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Dec 22, 2018 18:15:57   #
Vienna74
 
Delderby wrote:
Sounds as if you don't know about Pre-Processing your camera, which you should be able to set up for WB, Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness etc. If you really know your camera such settings can be adjusted in seconds.


Pre-processing in camera leaves a LOT to be desired. One need only look at the resulting histograms to see this. It is intended for those wanting slightly better photos without actual post-processing.

I agree whole-heartedly with the original post. For those interested in photography as opposed to snapshots, shooting raw and then using post-processing tools such as LR and PS is mandatory. We get some snapshots posted here, such as pet photos, but I wade through those to see the photography gems. Thanks to all here who regularly contribute excellent work!

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Dec 22, 2018 19:03:50   #
Blenheim Orange (a regular here)
 
Photographer Jim wrote:
"Support of extreme post-processing in defense of creativity is no vice, and insistence on 'straight out of camera' in pursuit of "purity" is no virtue". -Gary Boldwater-



I think we should declare that to be the last word on the topic.



Mike

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Dec 22, 2018 19:05:11   #
AndyH (a regular here)
 
Blenheim Orange wrote:
I think we should declare that to be the last word on the topic.



Mike




Nailed it...

Andy

| Reply
Dec 22, 2018 19:07:30   #
Blenheim Orange (a regular here)
 
rond-photography wrote:
This is my first "new topic", and it may come across as a little bit of a rant, but I hope it helps guide some newbies.

Post Processing is dismissed by some as not being pure; the detractors feel that only photos coming out perfect in camera are acceptable.
I disagree, and I base that on over 40 years of shooting (so, yes, I have shot film!).

When I got my first SLR in 1971, I started shooting as much as I could afford - it cost money to buy the roll of film and money to get it processed (no option except to post process when you shoot film).

I was usually disappointed because my pictures never looked as I remembered the scene. Mostly, at first, I shot color print film. Skies were blown out. People were weird colors, etc.
It took me a while to figure out that part of the problem was the way labs processed the photos. When I shot transparencies (the jpeg of the film world - because it was pretty much whatever you caught on that slide was what you were stuck with, ala jpeg), I found that the camera actually could produce good photos, but the issue of color prints still bugged me.
Shooting black and white, then sending it to the lab, was no better.

Over the years, I came to find out that the award winning images that we see everywhere are NOT always Straight Out Of Camera. When I made my own darkroom, I found that there were tools such as dodging and burning that were commonly applied in a darkroom to almost every good print. Test exposures in the darkroom were the norm - you didn't just set the timer for 10 seconds and expose the paper - you made a strip test to see how long you needed to expose for the best overall image, and you saw where parts were blown out or under exposed and dodged or burned those areas, maybe even applying a vignette.

Color was trickier since home processing was less forgiving than black & white, but I tried it, and had moderate success (color correction was tricky and I never spent enough time or money to get that perfect).

Ultimately, I found that certain labs (not my corner drug store) could produce excellent prints from my negatives and stuck with them from then on.

In the digital world, we apply the term "Photo Shopped" to many images (but it should be post processing, since we don't all use PS any more than all photocopier machines are Xerox copiers). It is often used in a derogatory manner, sometimes deservedly so. It is definitely possible to over process a photo and make it look unnatural. This can be done to advantage for some subjects, but if every photo you take looks "crunchy", you might be overdoing it.
It is better to keep it simple and just use the techniques that were most often used (and most easily understood) in the analog darkroom.

I contend that you MUST post process. Otherwise, you will get those blah photos that the film users among us have seen again and again.
As the photographer, you owe it to yourself and your audience to process those photos in the best lab (your own), and not just take what the camera produces.
It is rare that I have taken a photo and simply exported it as a jpeg without it first requiring exposure, shadow, highlight, white balance, and sharpening adjustments at a minimum.
There have been several, out of about 100,000 digital images I have, that were good without any adjustments, but that is extremely rare.

In the digital darkroom, we use the same techniques used in the analog darkroom - dodging, burning, adjusting for the best exposure, etc.
I am a huge advocate of LightRoom because it most closely matches the analog darkroom - terms are different, but the results and techniques are the same.
PhotoShop, with masks, becomes more complicated, but also has those simple tools embedded in it, so keep it simple and make great photos,
but don't dis' post processing - it will improve your photos immensely.
This is my first "new topic", and it may... (show quote)


Ron - good post, great images at your gallery. Welcome to UHH.

Mike

| Reply
Dec 22, 2018 19:14:28   #
Joelwexler
 
Delderby wrote:
Sounds as if you don't know about Pre-Processing your camera, which you should be able to set up for WB, Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness etc. If you really know your camera such settings can be adjusted in seconds.


Please. This guy knows his camera. Doesn't need your snarky tips.

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