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Thread: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

  1. #1
    andrewaxford's Avatar
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    Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    I have been following a thread in Nature and Architecture where some of our members have helped develop a picture through post processing and i asked the question

    "Have all you guys had lessons in photo editing or is it something you have picked up as you go along. As a beginner are there any info sources that you can recommend ?"
    Anybody else care to add ?
    Andrew

  2. #2

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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    I've read books and other articles, including downloads. Also discussed problems with digital editing friends. Then done a lot of experimentation (plus a little thinking) and kept detailed notes.

    For a learning experience, I would suggest reading the CinC tutorials for a basic grounding then read everything here, but it will take a bit of time to understand everything.

    http://www.ronbigelow.com/articles/articles.htm

    Recommended books will depend on your software, but to start with, you might find something useful in your local library. Certainly plenty of good books on the usual internet sites.

  3. #3
    flechtight's Avatar
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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    Andrew, I am still vey much learning, but this site and forums have been great source of help.

    I posted my workflow on the railroad bridge pic on the other thread you where looking at earlier. Not a workflow I would recommend, very unorganized but it gets the job done

    need advice, Chromatic aberration removal

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    Hi Andrew,

    I have bought books, mainly for reference, or watched YouTube vids, but I have mainly learnt by trial and error, asking questions here, or reading answers to other's questions.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    Andrew;

    I second what Geoff said about reading and experimenting (online videos can be very helpful to us newbies). Also, based on a recommendation from another thread, I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshopby Jeff Shew. (here is the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321839579/ - I hope it is OK to post this link if not please let me know and I will remove it)

    I will follow this thread closely as I am quite overwhelmed by the learning curve for the digital darkroom and will take all the hints I can get.

  6. #6

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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    The following is my post copied from the other thread to here simply for the sake of ease:

    I learned gradually on my own and wish I had known about the CiC tutorials when I first began post-processing. They are laid out in a logical sequence and they explain the issues and solutions quite well.

    The most important thing is to learn the look that you want to produce. For me, that took time reviewing other people's images and my own. Ironically, it's ideal to know the look you want to produce before you release the shutter rather than only as you post-process the image, but it's understandable that that perhaps rarely happens for the novice photographer or for the photographer who has never seriously thought about this stuff.

    As for the specific use of post-processing tools, there are three basic parts of post-processing: understanding the histogram (as an aid for both making the desired exposure and for post-processing the photo), how and why to use the Levels and Curves tools, and sharpening. Once you have attained a reasonable command of those three parts of post-processing, you will probably be 90% along the way to achieving the look that you desire. (Notice that it always comes back to knowing what that look happens to be; it's impossible to assuredly and effectively post-process an image unless you know what you want it to look like.)

  7. #7

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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    I have limited my post processing skills to a few specific areas: raw processing; filters for camera distortion correction and for fun, and black and white conversion. Raw processing is the key for me and a lot of my knowledge in that area comes from Rob Sheppard's guide to Adobe Camera Raw. He convinced me to greatly increase the percentage of my editing in ACR. Even though I use Elements' more simplified plug-in, I find it does the job for me. When I take my image from ACR to the editor, I am often nearly done. Maybe some color fine-tuning, curves, cloning, cropping. Simple stuff. I really do not have the ambition to get too complicated with post processing at this time. Just the raw processing of my images takes enough time. I try to keep a balance between actual shooting and work after the fact. Filters and black and white conversions are just more easy slider work that I find to be a lot of fun. It can help, as it has been said, to be aware of what you are going to do to an image when you are pressing the shutter. The raw file presents so much information, so much possibility, the hard part can be using restraint.

  8. #8

    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    A couple of tutorial videos and a bunch of trial and error. I basically sat down with Lightroom 4 and an image and slid all the sliders around to see what effect they had. What I found useful was seeing an image and then going into LR with a similar image and seeing if I could emulate it.

  9. #9
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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    Hi, Andrew -

    First off, when I started doing PP, most of the tools available now weren't available. So, with a group of friends, I participated in developing our own tools. Gradually, those tools have been replaced by open source tools and a few inexpensive, very extra-special-purpose packages (less than $50USD). I do not use CSn, I do not use PS. I did buy a copy of Elements a year or two back because I wanted to see what it would do (nothing I didn't already have the capability to do with the open source tools I already use). I have been a beta tester for Corel Draw! since v.0.81 and the image tool included there has grown considerably since 0.81.

    Second, because the community of developers I've worked with for so long is now approaching retirement age, more and more of them are getting interested in putting together all the tools we've been using for years such that they will work with GIMP and other open source tools. We shall see what happens on this front.

    Third, when I have a "How do I..." question, the tutorials on this site have been extremely helpful.

    I'm jes' sayin'....

    virginia

  10. #10
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    I've read countless books, online tutorials, purchased Scott Kelby's "the Photoshop Elements 8 book for digital photographers".

  11. #11
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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    Quote Originally Posted by drjuice View Post
    First off, when I started doing PP, most of the tools available now weren't available. So, with a group of friends, I participated in developing our own tools. Gradually, those tools have been replaced by open source tools and a few inexpensive, very extra-special-purpose packages (less than $50USD). I do not use CSn, I do not use PS. I did buy a copy of Elements a year or two back because I wanted to see what it would do (nothing I didn't already have the capability to do with the open source tools I already use). I have been a beta tester for Corel Draw! since v.0.81 and the image tool included there has grown considerably since 0.81.
    I'm an open-source admirer too. Really don't like the big guys Adobe, Microsoft, Apple, Google too much. To my discredit I do use PSE6 for my Sigma X3F file development because nothing else does it all in one shot. And I also have a Google account but it's beginning to get irritatingly intrusive . .

    To answer the OP, I am self-taught via web resources like CiC.

  12. #12

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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    Photoshop CS2 for photographers by Martin Evening and How to Wow plus Scott Kelby's book for which I forget the title.

    I'm not much for PP so really these get me out of a fix when I screw up. Nothing much in the latter two for raw users but Martin Evening is a raw shooter so his books are worth reading. Not that I've seen much of his works recently - or more like I haven't been looking.

    I did have some actions provided by Adobe created by Dr Brown which I found useful.

  13. #13
    Mito's Avatar
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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    PP is not my favorite part of photography. I have bought books on Photoshop and other "how tos" but they have never raised my enthusiasm. I shoot in RAW and use Raw Therapee for coversion to TIFF and Gimp for the rest. If I have my Linux computer on I use DarkTable.
    I read the tutorials here and any other short tutorial I find, but basically I'm self taught at the beginning of the curve and still learning.

  14. #14
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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    I'm quite new in Digital Photography but I had previous experience in processing of satellite images so I was familiar with many concepts such as histogram analisys, contrast, etc.
    I shoot in RAW and use Digital Photo Professional for basic adjustments (white balance, noise removal and not much more) and conversion in TIF. Then I do the PP in GIMP. For this open source software there is not plenty of books as for Photoshop, but still we can find good resources and tutorials on the web. I mention the followings, that I found really helpful:

    http://graphicssoft.about.com/lr/gim...als/1591774/1/

    http://www.gimpology.com/browse

    Last but not least, I'm learning a lot of tips from forums and tutorials on CiC

  15. #15
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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    Thanks Giacomo, you have perfect timing. I was just looking through the book Gimp for Photographers by Klaus Goelker.

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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    Quote Originally Posted by drjuice View Post
    Hi, Andrew -

    First off, when I started doing PP, most of the tools available now weren't available. So, with a group of friends, I participated in developing our own tools. Gradually, those tools have been replaced by open source tools and a few inexpensive, very extra-special-purpose packages (less than $50USD). I do not use CSn, I do not use PS. I did buy a copy of Elements a year or two back because I wanted to see what it would do (nothing I didn't already have the capability to do with the open source tools I already use). I have been a beta tester for Corel Draw! since v.0.81 and the image tool included there has grown considerably since 0.81.

    Second, because the community of developers I've worked with for so long is now approaching retirement age, more and more of them are getting interested in putting together all the tools we've been using for years such that they will work with GIMP and other open source tools. We shall see what happens on this front.

    Third, when I have a "How do I..." question, the tutorials on this site have been extremely helpful.

    I'm jes' sayin'....

    virginia
    Thanks Virginia, please let us know of any new developments.

  17. #17
    andrewaxford's Avatar
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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    Well thanks everyone for your comments and help. It is interesting that we nearly all seem to be picking it up as we go along. This is encouraging for me as there is hope I will get there in the end! From my own point of view I will use the tutorials here more. I really like the way others offer good advice, it does help tremendously and also I subscribe to digital photo mag which has a lot of tutorials as well as a video. Thanks once again. Andrew

  18. #18

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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    STRONGLY suggest popping along to www.kelbytraining.com - signup for a (trial?) account - and start working through the instructor-lead tutorials.

    un-bloomin-believable resource.

  19. #19
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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?

    Self taught, using a variety of programs, books, and instructional online videos.
    I've spent a lot of time on sites like 500px and 1X studying photographs, trying to work out how they achieved a particular effect and then emulating it (or trying to) with one of my images.

  20. #20
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Where did you learn your skills for post processing?


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