Some photos when you see on camera is not what you see on screen.
So we need PP (e.g. contrast/brightness, curves and colour balance).
Yes, you are right to say that in the film days, post processing are rare as it is costly and require costly equipment, thus is not an thing people do. Neither do I, just take and send for development... good or bad. You views are not alone as many owners are looking at things today minus evolve, just like any social discussion topic.
But digital software did not appear overnight, through many years of creation, improved, published and finally with Internet, many people get to know it. Early versions of on the shelf digital camera was terrible catching lighting, color and WB accurately, that is where manufacturers produce software to correct it. Not to mention they are ultra expensive. Because of historical usage, post processing becomes part of the workflow you see today. And yes again to say that less PP (or no PP) will be required now as in camera processing is good.
Of course, there are the camera skilled people and the software skilled people aka craftsman and the engineers. Taking perfect picture at first shot is best, this is craftsman skill, while able to "make" a perfect picture from software is engineering skill. So which skill you want to perfect is your choice. I choose the later as it is cheaper and easier.
If I am not wrong, certain industries limits the PP to only lighting and color to retain the originality of the detail. Finally, IMO, PP is not just about changing color or adding test or removing spots, it is a skill of its own and investment too. When I look at real professional PP work, the output is stunning. Even simple HDR requires addon PP to create the difference, else just ended up with plain output.
Thus in the end, I would judge real skill as vision skill (able to find the angle), mind skill (capture the theme, creativity), investment (willing to go far and get the golden image) and presentation skill. For many, it is just a hobby.
PP is not cheating... it is enhancing... you enhance your photo to show it's best feature, or effect etc. being an artist now has evolved in different ways, like computer enhancement.
it's like saying movies nowadays are cheats because of the graphics they include... well that's my view about it. =)
Nikon D90 : Nikkor 18-200VRII : Nikkor 18-55 VR : Nikkor 50mm f1.8 : Nikon SB-900
You donít need any, or only minor PP if you can get the exposure, white balance and composition right when you click the shutter.
IMHO, excessive PP might make you a digital artist rather than a photographer.
Canon EOS 7D | EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 | EF 24-105mm f/4L | 580EX II
Panasonic Lumix LX5
I see people after PP and then ask for critics....
I started out not knowing anything about photoshop, so all my pictures are un-pp.
Along the way, i read and pick up various editing techniques and start applying them religiously after every shoot. Guassian blur, layering, curves adjustment etc. End up, i realized i spent 3hrs on the field/shoot, and 6-8 hours editing the pictures.
After a while, i realized that i'm becoming more of a digital artist and less of a photographer. From that point onward till now, my pictures are minimally edited. If I spend more than 5 minutes editing a picture, then it's probably beyond savage and I won't bother editing the picture anymore.
Moral of my ranting. Yes PP is important, but do not let post-processing technique cloud your judgment of what is important; your photography skill.
On a side note, once in a while, I do spend 30mins or more on a picture experimenting/applying various techniques
Last edited by Akatsuki; 25th October 2009 at 02:23 PM.
Playing with M43.
My opinion is that unless you're a photo journalist or press photographer, then it's perfectly fine to do PP, because you have no responsibility to represent what you see objectively. So in that sense i have no qualms about manipulating pixels, since it's for art sake.
but i'm fine with composites, i.e. mashing up 5 or 6 photos to produce something surrealistic, so long as it is done tastefully.
the point is, if it's done artfully enough, no one really cares. that is, unless there are other problems, like ethics (as you mention in the photojournalism/press angle)
Let us consider the issue of white balance. On film, a room lit in tungsten light will have a terrible orange cast to it. However, our eyes see it differently. Sure, the lighting obviously is more 'orangely' if you compare it to say... a room lit in fluorescent light. However, our brain filters off the excess warm colouration.
Hence, in order to create an 'authentic' image, we need to add a cooling filter to our film camera (or adjust the white balance in digital cameras) to capture an image as our eyes see it.
Heh, was reading a book on nature photography in the library and came across one page regarding post-processing. The author cloned off a seagull and 'pasted' a mirrored copy of it to face another seagull to 'make the composition more lively'.
I nearly choked and died
If u are an amateur, then it is up to you. If your out of camera shots are good enough for you, then dun PP lor. But if u are not satisfied, then PP can make your shots better. But I believe in what someone says = if it ain't broke, dun fix it.
I usually PP only for low light shots when I shoot in RAW and then use PP to brighten and to remove some noise. Otherwise, I leave it as it is. I try to shoot such that what I see is what I get from the camera.
I think also for the professionals, sometimes when clients want "fast, fast, fast", u also got no time to PP. So once download, straightway send the jpgs. In this kind of situation, your shots better be good right out.
[Just my view....]
Hardcore photographers may have these concepts. With PP software, people are not learning the true value of photography anymore. IMO, not entirely true.
ISO, Aperture, Zoom, speed, decent lighting, stability are still thing software cannot fix. So there are still baseline learning required. If fact, dSLR has become even more complicated.... what front/back focus compensation thingy.
Concept 2: Post processing tools can do anything into transformers.
Ans: Provided that you can reach that saint level.
Concept 3: Photographers are getting from bad to worst with PP tools?
Ans: Since when is everyone using a camera good at photography in the film days or even black and white days. Just that now, there is 1000 times more people taking picture that's all.
Concept 4: Seeing many novice production posting. They looks good but pros don't think the effort is real.
Ans: Thanks to Internet, infrastruction, IT education, cheaper cams and improved web services/software and more paid XMM. Without them, you won't see any.
Concept 5: And the value of photography profession is no longer a niche value because PP can make the profession looks cheap?
Althought I am not in this industry but I believe famous photographers are famous by their niche and quality picture production, meaning able to get the rare and top scene and not just the skill alone.
Concept 6: PP has grown the number of paid photographers (aka professionals) who may not have the real craftsman skill. The value chain has gone down.
Ans: Unfortunately, that is the price of competition. Even if PP is not around, you will still be facing competition, just that tools have speed up the revolution.
Concept 7: Many may appear to be pros when they are really not.
Ans: I don't care. If you can take a good wedding photo, you are good. If you can further organized very well a wedding photo session, you are a pro.
Last edited by spheredome; 25th October 2009 at 10:29 PM.