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Archive 2023 · How much post processing?

  
 
Zenon Char
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · 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

Another thought I had is this is minimal processing to me. I don't see the difference between and use a graduated filter on the lens or a linear gradient mask in PP. A purist may say the graduated filter but the one in PP is less expensive We know how to use both.



May 17, 2023 at 02:53 PM
AmbientMike
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · How much post processing?


It's just odd to me that people are interested in shooting a photo and getting it like it looked at the time. Just not the reality on film, that I shot for years, a lot of the time. I guess people like DR because they expect to see great landscape photos in midday? I suppose it never was impossible, and I got landscapes at times on film midday, but odd way of doing things imo. Even on 30D I remember picking it up about a stop then painting it in using Layers. Seemed enough to me, to brighten dark areas

At one point I quit shooting in midday sun, film just couldn't handle it in on the subjects I was shooting. I could probably do it now, after using digital for years and knowing more, but it used to be hard. And I think a lot if others thought the same.

If I can sharpen and resize the jpeg, and post that counts as SOOC to me. Maybe a slight exposure adjustment and NR could be debated. IDK about saturation adjustments and contrast being SOOC, WB I'd say no in my stuff. Like some of the stuff I pp'd yesterday.



May 17, 2023 at 02:57 PM
RoamingScott
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · How much post processing?


Never realized midday shooting anxiety came from film days, since I do it all the time on film without issue. I love shooting when the sun is out.

SOOC is a pointless term to me. If you're shooting RAW, you're not posting the RAW. If you're shooting JPEG, your camera is doing post work, just post work you have little control over. It can do noise reduction, saturation and contrast boosts, etc based on profiles. Why would a "SOOC" JPEG be more "pure" than a RAW tweaked to taste? All a JPEG is is a RAW file post processed by your camera to your camera manufacturer's taste.



May 17, 2023 at 03:06 PM
AmbientMike
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · How much post processing?


RoamingScott wrote:
Never realized midday shooting anxiety came from film days, since I do it all the time on film without issue. I love shooting when the sun is out.


Anxiety? Maybe but More like sick of blowing money on film and of getting bad reults on film.

Shooting landscapes in forested areas didn't really do well at all. Much better at golden hour or cloudy day. And the colors on flowers, for one, look less saturated with sun vs clouds.

SOOC isn't terribly meaningful since I can lower saturation or contrast on one jpeg, then turn it up on another getting a much different result. So someone says "I shot a SOOC jpeg!" it isn't something to prove things. But I probably edit raw more.


Edited on May 17, 2023 at 03:17 PM · View previous versions



May 17, 2023 at 03:11 PM
Zenon Char
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · How much post processing?


RoamingScott wrote:
Never realized midday shooting anxiety came from film days, since I do it all the time on film without issue. I love shooting when the sun is out.

SOOC is a pointless term to me. If you're shooting RAW, you're not posting the RAW. If you're shooting JPEG, you camera is doing post work, just post work you have little control over. It can do noise reduction, saturation and contrast boosts, etc based on profiles. Why would a "SOOC" JPEG be more "pure" than a RAW tweaked to taste? All a JPEG is is a RAW file post processed by your
...Show more

I use Canon's DPP - Quick Check - Full screen that shows the final Jpeg with the camera settings. They don't carry over to LrC but they sure look good in DPP. Same as our LCD's.



May 17, 2023 at 03:12 PM
RoamingScott
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · How much post processing?


If you're talking about scenes with challenging dynamic range, I get why film would struggle more with that.


May 17, 2023 at 03:12 PM
AmbientMike
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · How much post processing?


Even rebel XT and 30D probably blew away film, especially slides, on DR. All of the sudden I could get photos midday! At least If I adjusted contrast in camera.


May 17, 2023 at 03:17 PM
adamx12m
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · How much post processing?


He's spot on with noise reduction results. PR is really good at fine detail like hair, tree branches, even objects far away like a street signs, textured details like bricks all have definition. LR made huge strides with this latest release, makes luminance look like a joke. It's definitely not as let's say aggressive as PR, but very balanced and you can still tweak some sharpness after. Topaz is decent but still some unpredictable results with fine detail like high iso image with hair creating blotchy artifacts.

SOOC is convenience, but will never beat PP with a RAW image even with minimal amounts of PP adjustments.



May 17, 2023 at 03:28 PM
Zenon Char
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · How much post processing?


PR is a good product. I used PR2 a lot. Users made requests to add some sharpening control so they did to PR3 which has DeepPrime XD. What had read is those sharpening options do not offer enough control and to really get the most out XD PL6 is the way to go. It's what I read and I'm not an expert. I did try PR3 when I was traveling but I can't judge anything on a 14" screen. I was about to try it again and Adobe released Denoise.

Most of the videos out there end by saying competitors show more detail to some files which is accurate. However most also stop short of saying how much more you can apply Texture, Clarity, Sharpening and Detail after Denoise without introducing artefacts. Even if PureRaw is better every time or in certain files I decided to move on. I'm going to work with Adobe and I know it will get better. Maybe one day we will see Sharpen AI.



May 17, 2023 at 03:43 PM
Jeff Nolten
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · How much post processing?


Normally I like my images a bit post card like but I find the LR camera landscape profile does the trick. I've found the de-haze function useful for giving contrast to backgrounds etc. I'll occasionally clone out distracting elements. But generally with my travel photography I'm trying to capture what I saw.

However, there are circumstances where the newer masking and PS layers are a worth their weight in gold. On a recent trip we visited the Louvre on our way to Morocco. I was trying to photograph the outside of the Louvre but there were so many cars and pedestrians that it was impossible to get a clear shot. So I stood there taking multiple shots when traffic was clearer. Then in PS I loaded the images in layers and used layer masks to assemble a clear shot of the outside of the complex. It worked quite well.

Inside the Louvre there are always too many people but I found I could take a statue shot and use a select background mask to dim the people and other background elements enough that the statue became more prominent.

In Morocco I was photographing inside the central square of a building with amazing carvings on the woodwork. I took a series of images and blended these in PS also layering out a pesky tourist. However the sky showed my layering efforts uncorrectably so I replaced the sky with a clear blue similar to the original. I also did the layering and masking process to build a clear image of the entrance of a medina that I liked.

So I think all these tools have their uses. It is just a matter of what you are trying to achieve. My images reflect what I saw and are the better memories for it.

Edited on May 17, 2023 at 04:07 PM · View previous versions



May 17, 2023 at 04:01 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · How much post processing?


Posing the question as one about whether post-processing is ok or not is kind of naive. What the camera records is not objective reality anyway, and photographers have always made subjective editorial decisions about how to present their way of seeing subjects — choice of lens, use of filters, composition and framing, focal length, camera movements, black and white (!), what kinds of paper to print on, how to manipulate the film and print development process, dodging and burning, unsharp masks, cropping, and on and on and on.

And why do some think that the goal of a photograph is to present an (impossible) fully objective image of the subject? That reduces photography to being a mere recording process — and it is clearly much more than that.

Calls to respect the traditions of photography here make no sense either, since the tradition is to manipulate, often like crazy.

I was at the "Ansel Adams in Our Time" exhibit at the De Young in San Francisco yesterday, and there were numerous examples of Adams' extensive use of "manipulation" in his photographs. There was a lovely print of the iconic "Moonrise" photograph, with its radically burned down and dramatic black sky, the dodged distant clouds above the mountains, and the combination of dodging and burning in the foreground to focus our attention on certain elements.

There was also a print of the Mt. Whitney sunrise photo, in which the mountain floats above a dark middle ground band of hills, with a horse caught in a fortuitous beam of light that illuminates a meadow. In this version of the print, the middle hills were burned down to nearly complete black... obscuring the presence of the large letters, "LP" (for "Lone Pine") placed on the hillside by the local high school.

Adams "eliminated"/"removed" something unwanted from both photographs. He removed clouds from the black sky in Moonrise, and he removed those offending letters from the hill in Whitney.

As always, when someone proposes a blanket objection to "manipulation," I suggest that they look at the beautiful and imaginative work of Jerry Uelsmann, done in the darkroom with black and white film.

On one level, there are no rules. You can use any tools that you think are appropriate for achieving your photographic vision. But that's just a question of tools.

The remaining question is probably more important and more interesting: how do you apply these tools? I can think if situations where the use of a particular technique seems to should "fake" to me, but at the same time the use of the same technique in a different context seems fine and even brilliant.

You'll never get a single, simple, all-encompassing rule about this. It ends up being quite subjective and dependent on circumstances and objectives.



May 17, 2023 at 04:02 PM
Z250SA
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · How much post processing?


I do some NR, brightness and shadow, nothing more. That is enough for my use.

If there is a problem with powerful PP tools, in my eyes it is that anyone can get their own images to (more or less) look like The Ideal image, the image of some guru, the general opinion of perfection. The totally blurred out backgrounds, the angle of the branch the bird is sitting on without any "disturbing" other branches.

I have been very fond of Duade Paton and Jan Wegener and a few other, but now I find their images always the same. I know what to expect, and I get just that. A few friends who are much more into PP than I, are now producing very "correct" images. All are "right". All are the same. The personality is gone. Boring!



May 17, 2023 at 05:07 PM
marsguy
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · How much post processing?


I can't stand spending an hour on a single photo, let alone any longer, with multiple programs and heavy masking. Not only does it feel like too much work in general, it's just cumbersome, and I'm able to get images that please me without going to that level.

In my mostly-landscape shooting, I tend to pull shadows up/highlights down pretty heavily, and occasionally bump saturation/vibrance, but I try to keep it reasonable. On my Fujis, there is basically zero penalty for underexposing 1 stop to preserve highlights. The DR of their sensors (and with my R5, seemingly) is so good these days. I try not to make my images oversaturated or overly contrasty, but I'm not afraid to push the photo to a point where it matches what I remember, or the vision I have for the photo.

Sometimes this results in a photo that looks obviously HDR-like, but I love the results, and that's all that really matters to me. I usually come back to my photos a week later after the first edit and find that I've gone too far in one area, and back it off a bit.

I've seen too many photos over the last year, especially as I go diving into image threads here on FM, where people clearly pushed their files way too far, with saturation, contrast, and especially sharpening. Most of the photos in the Canon image threads here seem oversharpened to me. I suspect it might be because the images SOOC are already fairly sharp, and it's tempting to squeeze them just a little more and get them extra crispy. In X-Trans-land, oversharpening usually leads to odd textures (depending on which demosaicing engine you use), so I tend to keep texture and sharpness on the lower side, especially since downsampled images based on the full res export get quite sharp even with minimal sharpening in LR, and some photos that I thought looked great and sharp at full res, looked obviously oversharpened when I downsized them to 2048px on the long edge. My R5 files seem to take LR sharpening better, but I don't need it nearly as much, as my 14-35 is quite noticeably sharper than my Fuji 10-24 across the board. Funny how that works.

When you're using high quality cameras and lenses, I think the phrase "less is more" is especially relevant when it comes to post-processing.



May 17, 2023 at 05:56 PM
DailyShooter
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · How much post processing?


As was already eluded to, and I’ll say the same thing differently: photography is a lying proposition. Be it film, or sensor, neither have the dynamic range of our human eyes. Now add a lens…none of them really have the same compression, distortion of our human eyes, separation, and to make matters worse, lenses can add flairs, aberrations too. I know, a 50mm comes close to human field of view…some say the 85mm more so, but the point is, your camera and your lens cannot provide high fidelity to our human vision.

But that’s not a bad thing, because our pictures should not expect to show “real life”…they are supposed to improve on real life.

Photography is a big lie. And to expect it to duplicate our human vision is very often impossible.



May 17, 2023 at 07:35 PM
Jeff Nolten
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · How much post processing?


^ Not sure I understand what you are saying. Can a copy ever be the same as the real thing? A photograph captures a moment. By the time it is a finished product it is either a memory or an abstract art. Both are valid. I have photographs since my 2nd birthday and they all bring back memories. Sure memories are faulty but what else are you going to do. Abstract art evokes a feeling which works differently depending on the viewer. I'd say photography can be pretty close to capturing accurate aspects of the reality of the moment.

Case in point: I'm one of the 75% that cannot see the full spectrum of light in an aurora. But my camera can see and capture it. My photographs of auroras show me more than I could actually see at the time. Is this good or bad? Is this truth or lie? Human eyes can have just as many limitations as photographic instruments. Reality dude.

Edit: Been thinking about this. Actually my photographs let me see more than I could see at the time. I notice things I didn't when there. Then there is macro photography that lets me see more than I could just looking. Same with my telephotos really. We are so lucky to be able to capture what we can and view the images in such detail. I envy my granddaughter who will capture the moments of her entire life and have it available forever on whatever i device is relevant at the time. In another thread we were discussing what it takes to feed a 32" 6K display - how does that compare to human vision?



May 17, 2023 at 07:49 PM
marsguy
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · How much post processing?


Jeff Nolten wrote:
Actually my photographs let me see more than I could see at the time. I notice things I didn't when there. Then there is macro photography that lets me see more than I could just looking. Same with my telephotos really. We are so lucky to be able to capture what we can and view the images in such detail.


This is one thing I love about travel, landscape, and macro photography. We only have a short time to take in the environment while we are there, and there is simply too much to pay attention to. I love just getting lost in my photos and really looking at them, in the corners, in the shadows. It's also one reason I love telephotos for landscapes, as they let you isolate specific features and present a very unique perspective.



May 17, 2023 at 10:05 PM
Zenon Char
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · How much post processing?


At minute 4 of the video Jan says it is impossible to tell the difference between DXO and Adobe. He said one does better in certain areas while the other does better in other areas. I've been watching a lot of videos and most say the same thing. If you don't have a 3rd party NR app at this point is a waste of money to get one. If you have any then use whatever works the best for you for the file at hand. No two are alike.


May 17, 2023 at 10:20 PM
AmbientMike
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · How much post processing?


Tried DxO several years ago and found myself opening the file in DPP, to make sure it looked as good edited in DxO. Took a photo that had good detail imo, used pretty high sharpening setting in DxO and still sharper in DPP. Never bought in to adobe.


May 17, 2023 at 10:53 PM
Imagemaster
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · How much post processing?


If this topic is for all cameras and not Canon only, you would think the OP could post it on the appropriate forum:

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/board/16




May 17, 2023 at 11:16 PM
Zenon Char
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · How much post processing?


AmbientMike wrote:
Tried DxO several years ago and found myself opening the file in DPP, to make sure it looked as good edited in DxO. Took a photo that had good detail imo, used pretty high sharpening setting in DxO and still sharper in DPP. Never bought in to adobe.


I was a die hard DPP user and finished in PS. When I started shooting events I found the DPP to PS approach a real pain. It took several trials to warm up to LR5 at the time. I decided to get it and over the years I started to appreciate it. Figures 6 month later Canon added DLO.

I still use DPP to pre-cull files. DPP combined with something like Affinity is on list of possible replacements if Adobe ever ticks me off. I have said if I could get LrC with the Canon engine I'd pay big bucks for it.



May 17, 2023 at 11:20 PM
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