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What amount of post-processing is "acceptable"
None - the photograph should be able to speak for itself 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Some - the integrity of the original should be preserved though 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Moderate - but all areas of the shot should be treated the same way 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Lots - selective masking, touching up, curves etc. all OK 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Full on - a photo is a starting point like the oils on a painter's palette 100%  100%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 1
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:10 pm 
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Hi folks,

I'm intrigued to know how CameraLabs forum members feel about post-processing.

HDR shots where bracketed exposures are combined into a single high dynamic range obviously demand post-processing but how about more conventional photography. Should we be content with minor tweaks to levels, colour balance etc. or is anything permissible from removing skin blemishes to false colours applied selectively to different areas in a photo?

Bob.

Edit: This thread originally had a poll but somehow over the years it got corrupted so I've reset it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:16 pm 
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Thats a hard thing to say. Depends a lot on what you want with the photo. But i think that if you pass a certain point, it's no longer photography in the traditional way.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:34 pm 
I sat on the fence on this one Bob and went for No 3. It is also as Nocea says depends on the photo and what you want from it, one point in mind at our local camera club when they have a competition the judge will nearly always say you could have cloned this leaf out, you could have darkened/lightened the sky, you could have cropped this photo a little tighter, so on that basis I think that your first option of leave it as it is, is not an option any longer.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:47 pm 
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There is a massive jump from leveling parts of the image differently, and using the picture a "oil"

e.g. in between, compositing is there, types of special effects, air brushing etc. are all in between.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:46 pm 
I voted for 'lots' because I feel post processing is an important element of digital photography.
However, personally I like to try to leave normal (non hdr etc) shots fairly close to how they came out of the camera.
In other words, I'm not quite sure... :?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:48 pm 
I think you should be to do whatever you want to a picture you took.I think it also depends a lot on the photo itself..Some are good to go crazy on and others should be left alone.
But personally, I don't like to do too much post processing.. I like trying to TAKE good pictures, not MAKE good pictures.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:25 am 
Noceo wrote:
Thats a hard thing to say. Depends a lot on what you want with the photo. But i think that if you pass a certain point, it's no longer photography in the traditional way.


That's how I feel as well. I think it depends on what you want to achieve, once you go too far it's no longer photography and becomes photo manipulation instead which I think is fine if that's what you were aiming for.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:15 am 
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grahamnp wrote:
...once you go too far it's no longer photography and becomes photo manipulation instead which I think is fine if that's what you were aiming for.

Hi Graham,

You've hit the nail on the head and this question is why I created the thread. As others have said, it depends very much on the subject matter, and also on the expectations of the viewer, how much post-processing is appropriate. I haven't voted yet but my own feeling is that photography is a many headed beast and for "art" photographs (as opposed to documentary etc.) anything goes as long as the "artist" achieves the desired result. But maybe I'm wrong...

Bob.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:58 am 
Hi Bob,

I think you're right, however the artist can't expect everyone to see it the way he or she has. I noticed that DeviantArt has separate sections for photomanipulation and photography and the former is classified not as a subcategory of photography but of digital art instead. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that it no longer is photography. I don't really care what it's called as long as I like it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:42 pm 
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grahamnp wrote:
...I don't really care what it's called...

I'm in danger of dragging the thread off-topic here, but there doesn't appear to be a noun reserved for the use of an image which has been produced as a result of heavy post-processing. We might wander around a gallery and remark "what a gorgeous painting" or "what a stunning photograph" but if you were ever next to a person who said "what a brilliant photomanipulation" it would probably be time to move on! :wink:

Anyway, back on topic. As I write the consensus from the poll seems to be heading in the direction that moderate or heavy post-processing is acceptable but there have also been votes cast for none and some. Interestingly, nobody so far has voted for "full on" post-processing. I wonder why not?

Bob.

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:21 pm 
I voted for none as I always believed that being a photographer in whatever level , amateur or pro, it should be about remembering that moment what was captured and not how it should have envisioned.

Call me old-fashioned in the modern world !


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:35 pm 
I dont like doing that much in debth after shot procesing. the only thing I do to some of my favoret images is crop them and change the colour a bit to mak it look nicer.

At the moment im facinated with the blacks and vibrance bars in adobe lightroom as I just love the affect it gives with the sky and grass


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:58 pm 
I voted for full on, on the grounds that if I feel the shot needs it I'll post-process it until I'm happy with it; but mostly it's straight from the camera to flickr. The camera itself applies it's own processing to make jpegs, so I'm only following it's lead! I don't see it as a problem, or any different from retouching negatives, push processing etc. It's nothing new, and the tools are there to be used.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:16 am 
For me, it truly depends on what the conditions are at the time of taking the photo. If I can get away with spending time composing the right photo on capturing without post-processing later, I will do so. However when you're out with friends or family, you can't always spend that much time snapping away, and that's where I apply post-processing to even out my inadequacies. An element of PP is needed within photography - it used to be the same with film - only more long-winded with scanners and solutions.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:22 am 
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Hi Bob, great question!

I think I'm in the same boat as many others here - some photos I prefer to leave completely untouched and take pride in them being that way, but others I'm happy to process until the cows come home!

So for me, it depends on the photo in question. Sometimes I take a photo with the absolute intention to do lots of work on it later, but at other times, I'm pretty sure it'll be fine as it stands.

I'll always give full disclosure when showing them to people though!

PS - as for a term used for describing the degree of processing of an image, many people talk about the amount of 'working' - ie, 'that's a worked image'...!


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