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Thread: Thoughts on Image Editing - Do we do it too much?

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    JEMS's Avatar
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    Thoughts on Image Editing - Do we do it too much?

    Is it me or are people missing out on enjoying photography,
    For me I love the idea of simply capturing a good image in a camera and enjoying it for what it is. If I am lucky it may be a good image that I like and wish keep! I will look at the image on screen for a few days, if I still like it I will print it. Sure it may sometimes require editing but like many great images made by our photographic heroes some images may need more editing than others to become outstanding pictures. The act of editing an image is not wrong.

    Important- Use the skills that you have and enjoy the images that you like, don’t rely on technology to much it just a tool.

    Jems, One camera, 2 feet, 2 eyes and one brain part used.........
    Last edited by McQ; 6th October 2009 at 12:55 AM.

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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    I think that a lot of people forget that photo "editing" has been around a long time before digital came on the scene; even in the film days exposures needed to be adjusted etc.

    These days post-processing is a necessary part of photography (be it on a PC, or in camera via picture styles). Someone here recently wrote of photography being where art meets technology; for me that's the joy of it - you can choose to interpret captures any way you like

  3. #3

    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    For me it's the worse the shot the more editing I need to do. Others seem to like messing about in photoslop but I hate it....I find using a mouse accurately frustrating. Even cloning out dust on even colour out of focus backgrounds has me wanting to throw the computer againt the wall

    There are few shots I've spend more than a few seconds PP'ing...my PC is safer that way

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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Even cloning out dust on even colour out of focus backgrounds has me wanting to throw the computer againt the wall

    Ah - trick there is to zoom to 100% and use the healing brush (before you apply capture sharpening) (choose an area just left or right of the spot as the reference. Make sure "aligned" is on.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    I find using a mouse accurately frustrating.
    The answer to that one is a Graphics Tablet. I recently got a Wacom Bamboo and, to paraphrase Colin in a thread a while ago, 'You'll need to prise it from my fingers'.

    I replaced all use of a mouse when processing and even navigate around this site with the Tablet pen.

  6. #6

    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Ah - trick there is to zoom to 100% and use the healing brush (before you apply capture sharpening) (choose an area just left or right of the spot as the reference. Make sure "aligned" is on.
    Aye, I do that......and usually with a huge big healing brush. Normally I just clone out the dust that bothers me, bit levels/curves/colour/contrast, resize and sharpen and I'm done

    This may give you an idea of the extent of the dust problem for much of what I do:
    Thoughts on Image Editing - Do we do it too much?
    The effective aperture for that was f/96! (it was shot at 5:1)

    Hardly any of the dust shows up in non-macro shots at sensible apertures. The above was taken on a 40D with the anti-dust thingy left on factory settings and used for a couple of months....I don't think anti-dust does much

  7. #7

    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    The answer to that one is a Graphics Tablet. I recently got a Wacom Bamboo and, to paraphrase Colin in a thread a while ago, 'You'll need to prise it from my fingers'.

    I replaced all use of a mouse when processing and even navigate around this site with the Tablet pen.
    I may have to try one....thanks for the suggestion I haven't used a graphics tablet since I was at school!

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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Aye, I do that......and usually with a huge big healing brush. Normally I just clone out the dust that bothers me, bit levels/curves/colour/contrast, resize and sharpen and I'm done

    This may give you an idea of the extent of the dust problem for much of what I do:

    The effective aperture for that was f/96! (it was shot at 5:1)

    Hardly any of the dust shows up in non-macro shots at sensible apertures. The above was taken on a 40D with the anti-dust thingy left on factory settings and used for a couple of months....I don't think anti-dust does much
    Hi Andy,

    The big / soft spots are what I normally see in the way of sensor dust - I'm surprised at the small specs though (unless that shot wasn't a 100% crop). Either way, I think your sensor is over-due for a clean!

  9. #9

    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Andy,

    The big / soft spots are what I normally see in the way of sensor dust - I'm surprised at the small specs though (unless that shot wasn't a 100% crop). Either way, I think your sensor is over-due for a clean!
    That was a full size image shrunk down. But aye it needed cleaned. It always needs cleaned (stick a MP-E on your camera and you might be surprised how much dust is there but just doesn't show up below f/22.)

    Then again my mates say that I'm good at getting dust on their sensors too

    I should probably have some words with the maid

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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Nothing personal, but to take great care in composing a shot and getting the exposure and lighting right, and then not being bothered to do your best in post processing is akin to a chef taking great care with the ingredients of a cake, the mixing and preparation, and just throwing it in the oven and not caring about how it cooks.

    From reading posts on many forums maybe some people would be better off with a point and shoot and just go plug it into the nearest commercial processing machine. Cheaper and less frustrating for them.

    Rant mode off now.

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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill44 View Post
    Nothing personal, but to take great care in composing a shot and getting the exposure and lighting right, and then not being bothered to do your best in post processing is akin to a chef taking great care with the ingredients of a cake, the mixing and preparation, and just throwing it in the oven and not caring about how it cooks.
    I think that part of the problem Bill is that many people think that post-processing is only ever used for two things;

    1. Compensating for poor in-camera creations, and

    2. "Enhancing" images (ie making them into something that they're not)

    Whereas the reality is (especially in a RAW environment) it's just another natural and normal step in the process (leaving the artistic interpretation of the shot up to the photographer).

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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Totally agree Colin. A lot of our younger shooters have never shot film, and don't realise that PP is taking the place of all the work that used to go into developing and printing, dodging and burning, coloured filters, etc etc. Underexposing transparencies for contrast and then ramming extra print exposure time into them to get a decent print.

    Now they can, if they're bothered, do it all themselves the way they want for the cost of a software program.

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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill44 View Post
    Totally agree Colin. A lot of our younger shooters have never shot film, and don't realise that PP is taking the place of all the work that used to go into developing and printing, dodging and burning, coloured filters, etc etc. Underexposing transparencies for contrast and then ramming extra print exposure time into them to get a decent print.

    Now they can, if they're bothered, do it all themselves the way they want for the cost of a software program.
    So much for "the camera never lies" eh?

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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    So much for "the camera never lies" eh?
    As the old saying goes "What happens in the lab, stays in the lab".

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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Hi Bill,

    I do like the oven analogy, we could have some fun with this

    You could argue that a top chef would ensure his oven and shelves were perfectly level and that gas/electric is calibrated exactly for temperature at the shelf he's put the cake on and he knows the moisture content of the cake mixture.

    So with enough care "in camera"/in preparation, the cake will rise evenly and not be over or under done. Thus a decent chef isn't allowed to inspect the cake during baking (who needs a glass door anyway?), it just goes in and comes out after the alloted time and is perfect, or he does it better next time No turning during baking or getting out a little before or after time depending how well cooked it looks!

    Cheers,

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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Ah but if it is all done in camera/preparation there is no way of adjusting for the vagaries of varying flour moisture content, variations in egg sizes, variation in ambient temperature affecting the temperature of the mix, and the variable accuracy of the thermostat in the oven. So with the forementioned in mind he also needs to control the final stage of the process as well.

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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill44 View Post
    Ah but if it is all done in camera/preparation there is no way of adjusting for the vagaries of varying flour moisture content, variations in egg sizes, variation in ambient temperature affecting the temperature of the mix, and the variable accuracy of the thermostat in the oven. So with the forementioned in mind he also needs to control the final stage of the process as well.
    I'm impressed Bill -- you can bake me a cake anytime you like!

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill44 View Post
    Ah but if it is all done in camera/preparation there is no way of adjusting for the vagaries of varying flour moisture content, variations in egg sizes, variation in ambient temperature affecting the temperature of the mix, and the variable accuracy of the thermostat in the oven. So with the forementioned in mind he also needs to control the final stage of the process as well.
    Nope, Not allowed

    You're just making excuses now

    They all have to be weighed and measured and factored in to the come up with the perfect composition and exposure, I mean mix and cooking time, on the day, with the ingredients provided!

    Tweaking after the event is cheating

    Please don't anyone be offended, this is just a bit of fun

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    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Reading this I am wondering if you are all on something......fairy cakes maybe.....laced with magic mushrooms

    Until I started photography a little more seriously, I did not realise that so much PP was needed in digital photography....well it is in my case.

  20. #20

    Re: Thoughts on Editing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill44 View Post
    Nothing personal, but to take great care in composing a shot and getting the exposure and lighting right, and then not being bothered to do your best in post processing is akin to a chef taking great care with the ingredients of a cake, the mixing and preparation, and just throwing it in the oven and not caring about how it cooks.

    From reading posts on many forums maybe some people would be better off with a point and shoot and just go plug it into the nearest commercial processing machine. Cheaper and less frustrating for them.

    Rant mode off now.
    Largely I agree but look around the web...phtoshop lesson number 1 seems to be selective colouring. Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh! Cringe....Shudder...etc.

    A bit spit and polish is one thing but I have abolutely no interest whatsoever in faking something that didn't happen. Most of my pics are natural history so my goal is to make them look as real as I can and that usually does involve some PP. Just as I don't like images that need photoshopped I don't like images that look photoshopped. I know I'm not good at PP but I do try to make it look "right".

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