In some circles ‘Post Editing’ of photos is frowned upon? I really don’t understand this at all. In this digital world we live in the fact that we now can do this, surely should be seen as a plus, not a negative? Not wanting to pigeonhole the naysayers into one group, in my own personal experience it seems to be coming from the older generation or those that shot on film. I can understand where they are coming from to a degree, they had no choice other that to get the shot perfect on camera. This was due to the limited amount of work that could be done in changing an image in a Darkroom. This does not though in my opinion mean that what us modern generation of photographers have at our disposal is wrong, it is simply progress! Why wouldn’t someone who is given new and improved tools and techniques use them? Is there not enough room in this world for us all, we are by ‘human nature’ a diverse bunch?
Not wanting to pigeonhole the naysayers into one group, in my own personal experience it seems to be coming from the older generation or those that shot on film.
Digital cameras have come a long way in the last few years, and although I am no expert, I do understand the basics of using one. The rules of framing, exposing, and choosing good subject matter will never change. However now you are shooting in digital RAW format, to the layperson basically this means you get an image to manipulate that contains all the RAW information that your camera is capable of capturing on its sensor (the sensor is the film replacement). Where things in my mind have changed greatly is that with that file you can then take it into your chosen bit of editing software, and achieve your desired outcome. I am sure I am not the only one, but when I look at the scene in my head I am also thinking about how I want the final edit to look.
The rules of framing, exposing, and choosing good subject matter will never change.
Below you have an example of what I have been discussing, the ‘before’ shot is the raw straight out of Adobe Lightroom and Camera, the ‘after’ is, well after I have processed it! All the colour and detail is in the raw file, it just needs bringing out, and then manipulating.
The above image was shot with my Samsung NX1000 at 16mm – f6.3 – iso100 – 60secs. I used a Lee Big Stopper Filter which is a 10stop ND. I am sure you guys will all agree (or maybe not) that the difference is huge in the before and after shots? Here was my rough workflow for editing this shot:
Adobe Lightroom – Import and apply basic settings.
- remove colour cast from filter
- enhance colour
- selectively improve sharpness
- reduce noise
- improve clarity
- adjust tonal contrast
Adobe Photoshop – Apply filters/Plugins
- warm image
- apply ND grad to darken sky
- use NIK plugin Colour Efex Pro 4 various
- dodge and burn
- apply watermark
Some might say that I have a style when editing my photo’s and that’s great because I have been trying to cultivate this for some time. As said above when I take the shot I also envisage to a degree the final edit! I can only do this, because I am more than happy to, and really enjoy the post editing of ALL my shots.
It’s totally up to you what you do, but please don’t think one way is the correct way. Your way is the correct way for you…