Is Post-Production Really Important?


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kat-vorg

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Oct 14, 2008
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#1
Hi everyone! I am pretty new to photography and I've only started using a DSLR in October this year. And I've come to realise that many photographers do post-production to their photos.

I don't usually use photoshop unless to watermark them or remove blemishes. And I seriously suck at using softwares (I really mean it since I flunked the graphic software subject in school).

It seemed to me that the pros photoshop their photos and get very good pictures, though.

So, is post-production really that important? And is it really a need to?

>'<
 

kandinsky

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 26, 2008
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#2
Post-production is just that, a tool.

Its role in your workflow depends alot on you - what you want your photographs to communicate, who your audience is, what you envision with your digital negatives etc.
 

Sep 24, 2008
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#3
It's an integral part of photography, with relation to that of what they used to do back in the days in the wet darkroom.
I'm no wiz at photoshopping either, and Lightroom 2 fits my needs just fine. I'm not into heavy effects or extensive usage, so i settle whatever i can on the spot of my picture-taking.

Most of people do this too i guess?
Photoshopping is an art entirely different from photography, albeit used to compliment each other. Not everyone wants to or can master it.
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#4
Hi everyone! I am pretty new to photography and I've only started using a DSLR in October this year. And I've come to realise that many photographers do post-production to their photos.

I don't usually use photoshop unless to watermark them or remove blemishes. And I seriously suck at using softwares (I really mean it since I flunked the graphic software subject in school).

It seemed to me that the pros photoshop their photos and get very good pictures, though.

So, is post-production really that important? And is it really a need to?

>'<
1) you don't necessarily have to post process your pictures, if what you can get out of cam with adjustments to the settings gets you what you want.

2) the camera post processes your pictures too, if you didn't know that already.

3) a good picture may or may not be made better by photoshop. a bad picture may be slightly saved, but it remains a bad take. most bad pictures cannot be saved. good photographers are not just good photoshoppers.

4) photoshop isn't a very hard software to learn. if there are people from the older generation who have no trouble learning it despite being from an era where ability to use computer was not a norm.. what about you?

5) do whatever you want, but just remember, people only look at the final result, and that is a fact.

6) dslr outputs tend to be more malleable, and less processed than the outputs from p&s cameras. it is there for a reason. you can always make your dslr output look like a p&s camera by upping saturation, sharpness and contrast, but note that you have less control over what you can do eventually.

7) there is nothing to be proud about not photoshopping your images, or being good at photoshopping your images. what is more important is that you have a good resultant end product. i cannot stand people who state "i never post process" like it has made them god's gift to photography, especially when the photograph definitely needs a touch more of something to make it better.

8) for every good picture that is shown to you, there are 99 bad ones behind the scene of this good one. the photographer is not in control of everything, there are also timing, light, people, etc, so many factors not under people's control!
 

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David Kwok

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Aug 23, 2008
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#5
Yet another tackled question :)
But well I doubt this will be the last any way. So I shall put in my 2 cents worth after "night86mare" has mentioned quite a number of crucial points.

I personally have 2 approaches to present my photos.
1) Take what you can see from your viewfinder and then PP it later
2) Have something in mind and then frame as accordingly. PP it to till you get what you want.

In previous threads, there are some that mentioned developing in the darkroom for film is also a form of PP. I agree to it wholeheartedly. PP as the name implies is enhance, alter, repair, or do whatsoever after the medium is ready for it. Some may indulge with the fact that in the past during film era, "we don't need to PP like in the digital era, and still we get fantastic shots". I'm sure that if one go back in the time and throw them a tool that allow PP of film like digital in photoshop, there will be photographers using it.

The whole point is PP is like making $1.20 out of $1. It's not going to give you $2 out of $1. It makes your already good photography looks better or to the way you want it to be. You try to make a sphere out of the box, why not just take a photo of the sphere instead. :)

How much to PP depends on the scene and should not be the amount of what you want it to be. If the end product doesn't get to your expectation with or without PP, it just doesn't get there. As simple as that., period.

At the end of the day, I think the only thing matters to me personally is "When I look at the photograph, did I do justice to it. At least within my own capabilities".
 

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Blur Shadow

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2005
4,886
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#6
It depends on what you want.

I believe any image can be enhanced through PP.

Certain effects cannot only be achieved through PP.

Go figure.
 

#7
Hi everyone! I am pretty new to photography and I've only started using a DSLR in October this year. And I've come to realise that many photographers do post-production to their photos.

I don't usually use photoshop unless to watermark them or remove blemishes. And I seriously suck at using softwares (I really mean it since I flunked the graphic software subject in school).

It seemed to me that the pros photoshop their photos and get very good pictures, though.

So, is post-production really that important? And is it really a need to?

>'<
A photo-editing software like Photoshop is just another tool in the process of photography. It is pretty much your own decision in whether you would like to use that tool or not. If it helps in achieving the final result that you crave for, then it is a useful tool.

There will be anal-retentive people both inside and outside this forum who will say that post-production with software is "not right".

There is no right or wrong in photography..you are shooting for yourself only. As a hobbyist and enthusiast, you have to be satisfied with what your final shot is...and not on what others think. They didn't buy your camera for you..you did.

If you intend to do photography professionally, your ultimate responsibility is to deliver what the client wants, regardless of whichever tool you use. Your client will never question you on how you achieved the final shot...unless they are anal-retentive themselves. :bsmilie:
 

pro_FHM

New Member
Nov 3, 2005
838
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#8
there is no harm learning more about Photoshop. have fun. :cool:
PP can enhance ur photos, but do note that u need to take a good photo first. ;)
 

Sep 23, 2005
705
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#9
7) there is nothing to be proud about not photoshopping your images, or being good at photoshopping your images. what is more important is that you have a good resultant end product. i cannot stand people who state "i never post process" like it has made them god's gift to photography, especially when the photograph definitely needs a touch more of something to make it better.
Hehe, this is one absolute point that I agree with you!
 

aryanto

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Feb 16, 2005
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#10
PP is Ok up to a certain extent like correcting brightness, perspective, barrel distortion, even up to photo stiching and HDR, although frankly usage of liquify is too much for me.
 

David Kwok

Senior Member
Aug 23, 2008
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36
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#11
A photo-editing software like Photoshop is just another tool in the process of photography. It is pretty much your own decision in whether you would like to use that tool or not. If it helps in achieving the final result that you crave for, then it is a useful tool.

There will be anal-retentive people both inside and outside this forum who will say that post-production with software is "not right".

There is no right or wrong in photography..you are shooting for yourself only. As a hobbyist and enthusiast, you have to be satisfied with what your final shot is...and not on what others think. They didn't buy your camera for you..you did.

If you intend to do photography professionally, your ultimate responsibility is to deliver what the client wants, regardless of whichever tool you use. Your client will never question you on how you achieved the final shot...unless they are anal-retentive themselves. :bsmilie:
This is one hell of a good anal response :thumbsup: I like it :bsmilie:
 

kat-vorg

New Member
Oct 14, 2008
43
0
0
#12
1) you don't necessarily have to post process your pictures, if what you can get out of cam with adjustments to the settings gets you what you want.

2) the camera post processes your pictures too, if you didn't know that already.

3) a good picture may or may not be made better by photoshop. a bad picture may be slightly saved, but it remains a bad take. most bad pictures cannot be saved. good photographers are not just good photoshoppers.

4) photoshop isn't a very hard software to learn. if there are people from the older generation who have no trouble learning it despite being from an era where ability to use computer was not a norm.. what about you?

5) do whatever you want, but just remember, people only look at the final result, and that is a fact.

6) dslr outputs tend to be more malleable, and less processed than the outputs from p&s cameras. it is there for a reason. you can always make your dslr output look like a p&s camera by upping saturation, sharpness and contrast, but note that you have less control over what you can do eventually.

7) there is nothing to be proud about not photoshopping your images, or being good at photoshopping your images. what is more important is that you have a good resultant end product. i cannot stand people who state "i never post process" like it has made them god's gift to photography, especially when the photograph definitely needs a touch more of something to make it better.

8) for every good picture that is shown to you, there are 99 bad ones behind the scene of this good one. the photographer is not in control of everything, there are also timing, light, people, etc, so many factors not under people's control!

At the end of the day, I think the only thing matters to me personally is "When I look at the photograph, did I do justice to it. At least within my own capabilities".
A photo-editing software like Photoshop is just another tool in the process of photography. It is pretty much your own decision in whether you would like to use that tool or not. If it helps in achieving the final result that you crave for, then it is a useful tool.

There will be anal-retentive people both inside and outside this forum who will say that post-production with software is "not right".

There is no right or wrong in photography..you are shooting for yourself only. As a hobbyist and enthusiast, you have to be satisfied with what your final shot is...and not on what others think. They didn't buy your camera for you..you did.

If you intend to do photography professionally, your ultimate responsibility is to deliver what the client wants, regardless of whichever tool you use. Your client will never question you on how you achieved the final shot...unless they are anal-retentive themselves. :bsmilie:
I was caught up with school and almost forgot about this post! Anyway, thank you everyone for sharing their viewpoints. It certainly has been insightful.

kat/night86mare:

Well, I personally believe that a photo should be taken correctly at the first shot. I'm not saying no to PP though. And photoshop is indeed not a difficult skill to pick up, but I'm really weak at it. So, it seems like time to brush up my PS skills!

Gotta agree with your last point.

kat/DavidKwok:

Well said!

kat/ClipperSG:

I guess I can really agree with you.

I'm a amateur photographer and also a school event photographer and honestly, I pretty anal retentive in the past :sweat:, no photoshopping for me unless I need to remove wrinkles, zits and blemishes on the person, or watermark my photos.

But from the previous school event, I saw my friends PP their photos before submitting them, it kinda makes me wonder if PP is really that important. And, their photos all turn out pretty fantastic.

Seems to me that if you have someone to please (that is, to submit the photos), it's always good PP them. Correct me if I'm wrong!
 

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Anson

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2006
8,210
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#13
Personally I think a dslr give you more room for PP than a PnS.... also most current "season" photographers are dslr users too.... :think:
 

liarliar

Deregistered
May 13, 2007
629
0
0
#14
Hi everyone! I am pretty new to photography and I've only started using a DSLR in October this year. And I've come to realise that many photographers do post-production to their photos.

I don't usually use photoshop unless to watermark them or remove blemishes. And I seriously suck at using softwares (I really mean it since I flunked the graphic software subject in school).

It seemed to me that the pros photoshop their photos and get very good pictures, though.

So, is post-production really that important? And is it really a need to?

>'<
I shoot some bird photos with an entry level DSLR and most time with sufficient light the photos are already very colorful vivid thru in-cam settings. I sumitted about 20 photos or so to stock sites without any editing and post processing and they were approved by the inspectors (although one site approved while another site may disapprove the same photo :bsmilie:).

But taking photos of people is a whole lot of diff thing. That's why MUA bring out the best and cover flaws of the subject/s. Thats why PP is the final gate to arrest these flaws and add effects or adjustments to the creators or clients' liking.

In art a few advices and tips common throughout the genres are:
(1) knowing when to stop
(2) Getting rid of bad habits when you first start out
(3) Every artist should have their own style
and so on blah blah :confused:

There's a time to do it for personal satisfaction. There's a time to complete a work not to your liking but fulfilling the receiving party's requirement. It depends on your attitude though. If you draw achievement and satisfaction from their delight all hard work pays off i guess.
 

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rotisiao

New Member
Nov 14, 2007
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#15
I believe those who shoot 100% in RAW will process their pictures.
 

liarliar

Deregistered
May 13, 2007
629
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#17
Of course lah if not click on the raw file santa ask you "please select a program to open the file". Well you may have the SW installed on your comp to directly opne the file in the editing program or software but send the raw file to your client or customer they opensanta ask the same q again :bsmilie:
 

rotisiao

New Member
Nov 14, 2007
969
0
0
#18
Of course lah if not click on the raw file santa ask you "please select a program to open the file". Well you may have the SW installed on your comp to directly opne the file in the editing program or software but send the raw file to your client or customer they opensanta ask the same q again :bsmilie:
lol..santa
:bsmilie::bsmilie::bsmilie:
 

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