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Post processing every time?


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#1 Kevindale222

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 02:12 PM

Hi. I was wondering how many people post process every photo they take. I tend to at least crop my photos and do some white balancing. What does everyone else do. Very interested? Or are there people who leave the photo as taken?

Thanks in advance.

#2 tdpriest

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 03:57 PM

I shoot RAW, select about 1/6-1/10 of my images to do proper RAW conversions, then put about 1/5 of those through Photoshop. Every image that I eventually use has been processed, although some don't have much more processing than a RAW conversion. Many people set up the camera to generate a definitive version, but I have relatively low contrast and minimal sharpening set in camera, so some processing is needed: I shoot to process, except in (rare) competitions. As few as 1% of my images reach an audience!

 

 

2013 Lembeh 558 TK 1 Barramundi juvenile.jpg

 

 

I took this Barramundi three weeks ago, and I've processed it today. I increased the contrast, took out a few spots of backscatter and selectively applied sharpening around the eye (due to their idiosyncratic wiggle, it's really hard to maintain focus on one part of the fish and the eye wasn't very sharp).

 

 

Plymouth BSoUP Splash-in 2012 089 Fairyland.jpg

 

 

I shot this crab last year, and submitted a jpeg version into the BSoUP "Splash-in" as it stood. It didn't attract as much interest as a different image, one that I didn't like as much, which may tell you something about my own idiosyncrasies!


Edited by tdpriest, 14 November 2013 - 04:08 PM.


#3 MikeVeitch

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 01:54 AM

Tim, I think a before and after version of each image would help Kevin a lot in his question, if you don't mind showing a straight from RAW version as well? 


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#4 MikeVeitch

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 02:01 AM

Kevin, I believe everyone does at least a touch of processing unless shooting in jpg.  RAW means doing some sort of processing as the photo itself never looks like it does on the back of the camera, therefore a touch of WB (in WA) and maybe some saturation is always needed. The goal is to pop the colours but not over process, you can really tell when an image has been overprocessed and doesn't look that great.  However, if you want to print your images, especially on canvas, you will need to create a second file that really increases the colours in order to get a nice print, but it will look funny on the net so make sure you don't save it over the original.


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#5 SwiftFF5

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 04:28 AM

As few as 1% of my images reach an audience!

 

 

Of course, this is really a key concept.  Self selection of the good images before spending a lot of time on them, and even then only showing the best of the best to anyone else really makes sure that you are presenting your best images to the public.  Don't fall in love with the subject if the image isn't good.  That's a hard lesson to learn, though.


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#6 Kevindale222

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 10:39 AM

Thanks guys very useful.

#7 Julian D

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 09:14 PM

Kevin, I noticed your comment that you crop a lot. I'm just learning but I recently got a viewfinder for my housing and I've noticed a huge reduction in the amount of cropping I do now.

On other post processing I'm often doing heaps just to salvage a photo!

#8 johnspierce

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 06:19 AM

Every image gets "some" processing since I shoot RAW. In most cases, a correctly exposed RAW image will look a bit flat and overexposed. If it looks exactly right out of the camera, I'm throwing away data.

http://www.luminous-...ose-right.shtml

Obviously, this is not universally true... Say, In the case of a silhouette where overexposure is the death of the photo, but still - I can always find some minor tweak that is required.

If you shoot JPEG, then the camera is tweaking the RAW image for you internally and it's modifying contrast, white balance, sharpness, etc., so you might get photos you are happy with straight out of the camera. I prefer to do my own tweaking rather than let the camera do it.

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#9 tdpriest

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 06:25 PM



Tim, I think a before and after version of each image would help Kevin a lot in his question, if you don't mind showing a straight from RAW version as well? 

 

I keep dng files now: keeping the RAW files in Nikon format seemed a waste of space. The edible crab is a straight jpeg, the Barramundi dng looks like this, the processed file is on the right, or below, depending on the screen:

 

2013 Lembeh 558 TK 1 Barramundi juvenile.jpg   2013 Lembeh 558 TK 1 Barramundi juvenile_1.jpg


Edited by tdpriest, 17 November 2013 - 03:12 PM.


#10 DDT uk

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:30 AM

Like Tim, I would suggest that my ratio of shots taken to those used is probably around 1% at most. Therefore I really do not want to spend time processing images that I do not use. The first thing is to go through LR and select the first cut from the rest. Then wait a day or so before doing round 2. Then some quick work on those left in LR before picking (say) the top ten. They can then be imported into PS. Take each image and decide what you do not like about it or want to improve. Write it down. Then attempt to correct it.



#11 MortenHansen

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 12:54 AM

Hi Kevin,

 

I always try to get my pictures right in the camera, sometimes with a minimal amount of editing.

 

For me photography is very much a personal challenge and the pictures I am the most proud of are always the ones that came straight out of my camera.

 

I do not believe that post-processing is cheating and I have no problem with the guys that do a lot of it, I mean, they do create some stunning pictures!

 

To me it just gives me more joy to try and get it right in the first place :) 

 

Of course I also have to say that I get a lot of time in the water each year, and I guess that means that it is not so important to get a lot of keepers/dive

for me because over time I will get a lot of keepers that I am really happy with. 

 

All the best, Morten :) 



#12 Kevindale222

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 12:58 AM

Thanks morten. I like your idea. I want to achieve great photos straight from camera. Gonna use ur theory.

Thanks.

#13 tdpriest

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 05:03 PM

I want to achieve great photos straight from camera.

 

A great ambition, but one confined to transparencies in the days of film. Darkrooms have been part of photography for most of its existence, and are fundamental to photography as art. I learned how to shoot by working in a darkroom, by seeing what worked in the negative.

 

Morten is right in two ways: the better the image in the camera, the better it will be when projected, printed or seen on the screen; he's also right  to say that learning to make those excellent images requires a lot of practice.

 

I would point out that some of that practice can be in front of your computer.

 

 

A parting thought:

 

:evilgrin: Is ur-theory like a photograph in Plato's cave? :evilgrin2:



#14 Tzetsin

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 11:32 PM

I know this thread is a little old already, but I thought that I had something to add for future readers, if nothing else...

 

I'm fairly new to underwater photography, though I have many years experience above the waves with a camera in my hand.

 

I have to say that of all the images I've captured over the years the ones that require THE MOST post processing are the under water images.

 

Underwater photography is extremely challenging.  There are many things that make taking a photograph very hard and underwater photography has them all.  The biggest problem with most shooters underwater is that they aren't photographers.  Even as a photographer, I have a difficult time getting it right down there, so i can only imagine how hard it must be for the occasional shooter.  Not only are most people only occasional shooters, but they shoot with equipment that is not at all ideal to shoot in low light.  Adding flash is definitely helpful for any photographer, and especially those with inexpensive cameras, but flash presents its own difficulties.

 

What I'm getting at is that I would have to say if you were a VERY VERY experienced "Photographer", and you had a LOT of experience shooting underwater, you could hope to get it right in camera every time.  But the thing is that if you WERE that person, you would understand that trying to get it right in camera is actually pretty stupid anyway, because no matter how good it looks SOOC (straight out of camera) it will always look BETTER once you edit it.

 

I should explain something that isn't apparent to most people that aren't photographers.   You might think that the more experienced you get with photography, the happier you will be with your images.  This is not true.  The more experience you get, the higher your standards become.  Once you've become good enough to fit into your higher standards... your standards will have raised again.  This never ends.  

 

So the answer is YES, you SHOULD edit any image you intend to show off.   Now I say any you intend to show off because out of 100 pictures, you'll likely only "like" a few.  Those are the ones you edit, and those are the ones you show off.  The other dozens of images do not get edited and sit on a hard drive collecting pixel dust.

 

If you believe that your image is good enough SOOC, thats fine.  There are a great many people that don't edit their photos.  That doesn't mean they don't look ok, but still doesn't change the fact that with proper shooting techniques (shooting RAW vs JPG for example) and proper editing they wouldn't have looked better.

 

BTW, if you CAN shoot RAW, shoot RAW.  Period.  No exceptions... ESPECIALLY underwater.