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How much post processing?

  
 
Zenon Char
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How much post processing?


Not to restart a closed thread, I'm starting this one out of PP curiosity. I came across this video the other day. There are the strait out of camera enthusiasts, minimal to pushed processing and obvious HDR, which is fine if that is the intent. Each to their own.

Then you have Jan. A respected photographer and teacher. He culled 18,00 files (wow) and had 3,000 left. That may be normal for some but that is a lot to me. Then he really plays around a lot to bring out the colours and bring life to his work.



I'm on Jan's side of the fence. I said in another thread that our eyes are like video constantly adjusting whereas one shot is limited to the cameras dynamic range.

Since I worked in print media I've alway been fascinated with colour. I read the scientist believe children live in a more vivid world. Grass is greener (not intended as a pun), skies a bluer and so on. As we age our rods and cones are not exempt to that process.



May 17, 2023 at 10:33 AM
DailyShooter
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How much post processing?


Iím one to try to get a ďperfectĒ shot at the time of shutter release, with some PP of my raw files. I think this mentality of ďIíll fix it in postĒ is used too much, and can lead to sloppy camera workflow.

Having written that, I PP all my images.

I hate the over processed look, the cartoonish models with their faky eyes.

But there are times for intense PP work for some images, but this is the exception.



May 17, 2023 at 10:49 AM
artsupreme
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How much post processing?


With the AI and masking abilities in recent years the PP capabilities have gone off the charts. Unless you have been an absolute photoshop wizard for the last 20 years, PP software for most seemed similar for many years with slight incremental upgrades. But just in the last couple years things have changed 1000% you can now transform an image like never before without complex photoshop knowledge.

I'm more for realistic looking final images, but there are some who are really going nuts with PP now that the software has made things really easy to mask.



May 17, 2023 at 10:55 AM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How much post processing?




DailyShooter wrote:
Iím one to try to get a ďperfectĒ shot at the time of shutter release, with some PP of my raw files. I think this mentality of ďIíll fix it in postĒ is used too much, and can lead to sloppy camera workflow.

Having written that, I PP all my images.

I hate the over processed look, the cartoonish models with their faky eyes.

But there are times for intense PP work for some images, but this is the exception.


For static shot I will always compose as best I can. I try and expose as best I can. For BIF at times both are difficult, especially composition. Sometimes Iím shooting a static bird and one flies by and I donít have time to adjust exposure.

Back in LrC I use the Auto feature as a base and donít often do too much beyond that except for minor tweaks.



May 17, 2023 at 11:28 AM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How much post processing?


Definitely not a big fan of pp and removing stuff from images. Really prefer to get it right in camera. I do OK at pp and I do it but I generally hate it. Got on my nerves even watching him do it

I definitely try to get it right SOOC. Went back to jpegs a lot, even



May 17, 2023 at 11:31 AM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · How much post processing?


I have never used sky replacement, etc. Once in a while Iíll remove a branch. For my B&W conversions I go to town. I donít replace the sky but if it has clouds Iíll contrast, etc the heck out of them.


May 17, 2023 at 11:37 AM
chez
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How much post processing?



Zenon Char wrote:
I have never used sky replacement, etc. Once in a while Iíll remove a branch. For my B&W conversions I go to town. I donít replace the sky but if it has clouds Iíll contrast, etc the heck out of them.


Itís your art, do whatever you like with it. As far as adding or replacing pieces of the image, thatís not for me as I make photos to allow others who are not fortunate enough to see the place have a quick view through my photos. I donít feel honest about things if I would totally replace the sky as that is not what I captured. Removing distracting elements like branches is just fine by me.



May 17, 2023 at 11:41 AM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · How much post processing?




Zenon Char wrote:
I have never used sky replacement, etc. Once in a while Iíll remove a branch. For my B&W conversions I go to town. I donít replace the sky but if it has clouds Iíll contrast, etc the heck out of them.


Even Ansel Adams did quite a bit of pp.



May 17, 2023 at 11:51 AM
DailyShooter
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · How much post processing?


I prefer getting the shot "perfect" at the time of shutter release.

Let's take Portraits, I think good camera workflow can insure a near-perfect exposure at the time of shutter release...for natural light portraits, I always shoot in manual, and spot meter on the model's face, placing the center spot on the brightest part of her skin, then I set the EC +1 or +2/3rds for white skin, +2/3rd or +1/3rd for Asian skin, 0 or +1/3rd for Hispanic, and -2/3rd to -1/3rd for black skin. I want the exposure to be "perfect", +/- no more than 1/2 stop.

Now that exposure is out of the way, I snap away, concentrating on the composition, framing, etc. And if the light changes, then I re-meter as before. This makes for uniform images in the set because all exposures are exactly the same for a given location and light situation.

These are guidelines because some blacks are light-skinned, some Hispanics very dark or light, etc.

Once in PP, I dial in the color profile, WB, exposure, blacks, mid-tones, some sharpening, and some vibrance. I save this recipe and apply it to all images of that set of photos.

I think this strategy will minimize the time in PP, minimize damaging the image, and minimize banding, noise, color casts, hot spots on the face, etc. It can also insure uniformity between photos in a set.

There is a pro shooter that creates many youtube videos on natural light portraits, and she does very good work, however, I disagree with her camera workflow...she shoots in Av mode, Evaluative metering, and dials in the exposure via the simulation image, then she does mild to drastic PP later...all her images are a bit different within a set taken in the same location, same lighting...she spends far more time in PP that I would. it goes to show you that even a pro with many years of experience can have a subpar camera workflow.

For flashed portraits, I shoot in manual, evaluative metering for camera and flash, camera meters on the background, flash on the subject...FEC per model's skin tones. Once the background and skin are balanced well, I use this same exposure for all the images in that set, same location, same lighting, etc.

The PP is similar to what I do for natural light portraits.



May 17, 2023 at 11:57 AM
chez
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · How much post processing?




AmbientMike wrote:
Even Ansel Adams did quite a bit of pp.


Quite a bit is an understatement.



May 17, 2023 at 12:03 PM
 


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Zenon Char
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · How much post processing?


Now this is getting interesting. For the SOOC crew. What is you definition? No black/white clipping, no shadow/highlight adjustments? Just sharpening at that is it?

I pick a colour profile. Auto saves me time on those 4 adjustments which I review to make sure I agree with it. Auto adds +1 to +3 Saturation which is not much. It often bumps up the Vibrance between +10 and +20. I figured the thousands of professional edits they used to train Sensei (AI) can't all be wrong.

I'm going to be pretty much run all files at ISO 1000 files or higher through Adobe Denoise. My post Denoise preset has a few tweaks as did with my previous workflow. For the last 6 years all my files get the base of +10 for DeHaze. I've always liked Clarity so it gets +12. I can now push Texture a little more so it comes it at +15.

I then go over everything and tweak as needed. Aside from the time Denoise to do it's thing I can edit a file in a few seconds if I need to.



May 17, 2023 at 12:17 PM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · How much post processing?


chez wrote:
Quite a bit is an understatement.


He spent half his time dogging and burning. I read his books and so did I. While in Toronto we seen his show. I walked up to a large poster sized print of Moonrise over Hernandez. I asked if the would take a cheque. They told me it was priceless.



May 17, 2023 at 12:20 PM
jedibrain
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · How much post processing?


I'm closer to the SOOC side.

I use DXO Photolab to process. I will adjust the clarity (clear view), contrast, white balance, vibrance and saturation. Hit a little unsharp mask. Denoise if necessary. That's about it. I don't consider cropping to be PP wizardry. The camera and lens geometry corrections are in use as well.

Rarely, I will fix something with the spot tools or masking functions. Clone out an unfortunate wall outlet, branch, blemish etc. But rarely.

From there, I'll sometimes apply various pre-sets to get nostalgic effects or something. But I don't replace skies, people's skin, or really alter anything else such as to make an image of a scene that never actually occurred.

-Brian



May 17, 2023 at 01:34 PM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · How much post processing?


In Portugal I was in a blind concentrating on BIF when heard this bird beside me. It was in dark shade and I knew I did not have long because they are skittish. It only gave me a second so cranked the EV wheel. I got lucky with decent exposure on the black part of the head. Ran it through Adobe Denoise a few weeks ago to see what I'd get. Messed around a bit PP and got this. I didn't replace the sky. I just lowered the exposure.








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May 17, 2023 at 01:36 PM
RoamingScott
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · How much post processing?


Day to day, my ethos for "how much PP" is "just enough".

However, there are some situations or shots where I come back and the shot looks nothing like what I saw with my eyes, or the vision I had for the shot. I have maybe 5 shots a year that I put an hour of work into each to craft it back to what was in my head when I took the photo. I find usually these photos are when I was standing in shadow during pretty intense light, as our eyes and cameras see these things completely differently. Some people might like the editing, some might not, but the final image is what I saw when taking it...and to me, the art of photography is the reproduction of what we saw as we saw it.

One such example:
















May 17, 2023 at 01:47 PM
Milan Hutera
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · How much post processing?


There might be other cases that would fit into "a lot of PP" just to match what your eyes do naturally. For example - architecture/interior design/real estate - local adjustments to correct for various color cast from mixed lighting, fixing wall brightness, cloning out dust, blemishes, dirt, stains that would take ages and professional cleaning service to clean (if at all)... I spend a lot of time working on a single photo just to fix all this before I deliver to a client.


May 17, 2023 at 01:54 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · How much post processing?


It all depends on what your vision is for a particular image. Yeah, I AM one of those long time (over 28 years now) high end Ps users who has never used Lr, and in those nearly three decades buried in Ps and getting really good with that what has happened is that, when you're composing your initial image in the camera, you're also considering, based on your current knowledge and skill level using Ps, just where you might think the image can go or needs to go or just wants to go. The more adept you are at complex post production the great the range of potential possibilities for your image. I don't always utilize every tool and technique I know in Photoshop but knowing what I can do gives me the freedom to envision where I want the image to go even before I actually make the exposures.

To that end, many of my images are highly complex and I would never expect most people to either understand the patience it takes just to make the exposures or that I often will spend two or three weeks on a single image until I consider it done, and just as often single images can take up to a week of refinement, manually drawn paths for complex masking and many days of considering where the final tone and color wants to be. That's just me though. It's kind of a zen process where I don't really consider the time, only the goal and what it takes to get there, which may, once I get into it, require re-shooting from scratch just because the lens needed to be moved three millimeters to the left and you couldn't see that until you cobbled together a couple hundred images in the focus stack.

I remember running into Ansel at an impromptu lecture at the Monterey Museum of Art where he had two prints of the same image and the second print was marked up in all the area he had altered it during the exposing of the paper - with circles and hash marks and notes that this area was burned for eighteen seconds and that area was dodged for seven - or whatever it actually was. The level of detail of his manipulations would put most modern darkroom printers to shame but the beauty of a digital process is that now we can easily achieve what Ansel did and much more - if we want to. I have no doubt that, given he was using very early scans at the end of his career that if he had lived he would have kept expanding the use of those tools as they became available.



May 17, 2023 at 02:13 PM
chez
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · How much post processing?


I personally donít try to match what my eye saw, but what my vision was when I took the image. Like I said previously I draw the line at including elements ( dramatic skies as an example ) to enhance the image, but I have no issues with spending time in post processing to achieve the look I wanted when I pressed the shutter. Iím after the emotion a photo can draw out of the viewer and at times this requires extra work in post.


May 17, 2023 at 02:16 PM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · How much post processing?


RoamingScott wrote:
Day to day, my ethos for "how much PP" is "just enough".

However, there are some situations or shots where I come back and the shot looks nothing like what I saw with my eyes, or the vision I had for the shot. I have maybe 5 shots a year that I put an hour of work into each to craft it back to what was in my head when I took the photo. I find usually these photos are when I was standing in shadow during pretty intense light, as our eyes and cameras see these things completely differently. Some
...Show more

That's nice.



May 17, 2023 at 02:45 PM
Robin Smith
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · How much post processing?


I do quite a lot of post-processing, but rarely clone out distracting elements. I generally try for the image to be something that could be natural. I would never, ever replace a sky. If I have worked on a shot for over about 20 minutes I probably will decide to trash it, because it will never look good however much time I spend with PP. You can improve a bad shot, but if the elements in the shot are no good then it will likely never make me happy. Usually I spend way too much time when working on other people's images - something I resent, but feel I have to do if I am asked to "improve them" or make them match a set.


May 17, 2023 at 02:47 PM
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