Saturday, March 26, 2011


So in my intro post I made mention that I generally dislike using programs to do any editing to my photographs, but today I had a change of heart. I recently joined a photography forum and someone had posted a thread asking if anyone doesn't use photoshop, or basically if they don't do any post processing. Their idea was that using these programs doesn't give you a "true photograph" since you are altering the image coming straight from the camera. At first I mostly agreed with them since I rarely use editing programs on my images, but then I read the replies by other forum users and they made many good, valid points in support of post-processing. The comment that got me the most was that even when developing black and white film, an individual uses filters to adjust the contrast of images. I love using filters when developing my pictures from film. People often used techniques like adjusting contrast, burning and other processing techniques in the darkroom, now that images are done digitally, it's just a new darkroom. The digital darkroom. Basically these techniques allow a photographer to get the image as close to how their eye saw it as possible. As I've said before, as advanced as cameras may seem these days they are no match for the human eye and can never quite convey the same image that your eye saw at the time the picture was taken. These post processing techniques, whether done in a darkroom or in photoshop give the tools to recreate the image to a better degree of accuracy.

In other words: Now that I realized post-processing is a technique I used before, and loved, just because I'm doing digital photography doesn't mean these processes still aren't relevant or useful. I also realized that basically what I meant by my dislike of heavy editing is editing that pushes color past normal levels, extensive airbrushing/sharpening, etc. Essentially any technique that actually changes the image to make it seem more unrealistic. It is very hard to convey my opinion on this topic in words so I'll try to provide an example:
The first image is the one straight from the camera, no processing done by me. Next I have what I consider a good process of the image that makes it fairly realistic to what I actually saw that day, since my eyes adjusted better to the harsh sunlight of the day and were able to pick up on more color than my camera. Lastly I have what is, in my opinion, a way over processed image. I cranked up the saturation and contrast and it makes the image very unrealistic. So that is basically when I dislike post-processing, when the result doesn't seem real.

So in light of my change of heart I spent some time tonight post-processing a few of my images from previous posts. Enjoy:

Much more interesting if I do say so myself. And as always they are on my Flickr account, which is in my links bar on the right side.


And just for fun:


  1. These photographs are very good. My favorite is the second one on the list because it looks like a tree in Tim Burton's backyard. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

  2. I feel this is a move in the right direction. The last pic, I mean. Oh, the rest of the digital darkroom stuff is cool too.