Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Why OOC JPG can't match PP for me

  1. #1
    eNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Downey, CA
    Posts
    194

    Why OOC JPG can't match PP for me

    Before I say too much to get me in hot water, let me state up front that an approach to get perfect or optimum JPGs out-of-camera (OOC) is reasonable and acceptable. If that's your approach, I'm not putting you down. You may not have the time or inclination I have to push for achievement of the "greatest image potential," and for your purposes, what your camera gives you is good enough. However, I'd like to use the following example to show why PP is essential to me -- and I won't be talking about "saving an image" or correcting WB, things that often require NEF (raw) shooting for best results.

    By way of illustration, here's what my Nikon D80, with custom Picture settings, gave me. Yes, I shot this RAW, but since I did a straight ViewNX conversion, this is essentially what an OOC JPG would look like.

    Why OOC JPG can't match PP for me

    Since I was there when the camera took this shot, I'll testify it is a pretty faithful representation of the scene the camera saw. No exposure hickups, no incorrect WB -- that's a pretty "nailed" result. It's also rather blah, most of us would agree. And I could have avoided this through more saturation or "vivid" settings in my camera, but my basic issue with this is I can't fathom settings that would give me the effect (and now we are talking about artistic considerations, or what Ansel Adams would call "pre-visualization") I want for a given scene without adding post processing to the mix.

    This is blatantly obvious when it comes to B&W conversions, such as this one:

    Why OOC JPG can't match PP for me

    And also for color enhancements:

    Why OOC JPG can't match PP for me

    Here's the bottom line for me: I wouldn't waste the time or money to print the OOC version of this photo, and even if I had "nailed" the camera settings, this would be the case because there are no camera settings (or hardware filters I can use) that would give me the color contrasts in the color version or the texture, shadow, light detail in the B&W version. Post processing is a must to achieve the last two images, which I would be more than glad to consider suitable for framing.

    For those of you still on the fence about this post processing thing, keep trying to get the best you can out of your camera, but consider also how you can exploit that optimum result to maximize the photograph's potential. To see more details of how I achieved the last two images, feel free to visit my blog at http://esfotoclix.com/blog1/?p=931

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Gorokan NSW Australia
    Posts
    408

    Re: Why OOC JPG can't match PP for me

    Very good post, explained a lot.

    Now for my summation of the Out Of Camera/ Post Processing debate.

    If you are one who is happy with OOC Jpegs then that's fine, it's your camera and it's your shot, just don't be one of those who take a High and Mighty attitude of superiority with those who choose to Post Process, because in some cases you may be showing how little you know
    about Photography.

    In some cases there is a hangover from the film days where the average person took a shot, sent it off to be processed and printed, got the prints back and assumed that all that had been done was the printing. Wrong, if all that had been done was printing they would have refused to pay because the shots would have mostly been very disappointing with a few that were passable. WHY? Because most people forgot about the most important part "Processing", whereby the lab has colour corrected, exposure adjusted, rescued the underexposed/overexposed shots, tried to adjust sharpness in the out of focus shots, etc etc.
    People forget about this because they have never seen it done.

    What a lot of people also may not realise is that in the film days most pro's and some serious amateurs did indeed do their own processing and adjustments. Now in the digital age with the advantages of computers, there is the freedom for anyone to do their own post processing and to produce shots that are imposable to get Out Of Camera.

    The processing controls on camera are to enable people to fine tune their shots to their liking, but as yet there is no camera processing that can compete with a computer and a decent PP program.

    As I said earlier, if you like OOC Jpeg's then that's fine by me, but don't forget that if you stuff the shot then it remains stuffed, with a PP'd Raw you have a chance to rescue/improve it.

    Remember this:- Nobody gets it right all the time, and Murphy's Law says that the one you stuff up on is the most valuable shot you will ever take.

  3. #3
    PopsPhotos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Washington (state) USA
    Posts
    984
    Real Name
    Pops

    Re: Why OOC JPG can't match PP for me

    What the computer programs for PP have done is change the cost of darkroom. I had about 3 month's income invested in my darkroom when I sold my studio in 1958. Today it takes me about 4 month's income to set up an "electronic darkroom" for post processing. However, when we spread that cost over all else the "electronic darkroom" can do for me, the true cost comes down tremendously.

    The use and need of darkroom techniques has not changed with the advent of the present photography boom. It is just that many more amateur photographers are into the "darkroom mode" than back in my day.

    I post process little more today than I did when I was previously in the business. That is ME. Others I knew then and others I know now spend more time in the darkroom than finding the proper picture to be working on. That is their hobby, just like the guy I know who reloads ammunition but doesn't shoot. That's his hobby and he enjoys it. He's happy and I'm happy. That ain't a bad thing.

    Pops

  4. #4
    eNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Downey, CA
    Posts
    194

    Re: Why OOC JPG can't match PP for me

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill44 View Post
    Remember this:- Nobody gets it right all the time, and Murphy's Law says that the one you stuff up on is the most valuable shot you will ever take.
    I realize that the argument for PP often hinges on its ability to cover for our mistakes. However, what I am saying here is that even when you get a dead-on exposure, PP may be necessary. This is because "getting it right" is about more than framing the shot correctly (so you don't have to crop it), or setting the right level of in-camera sharpening (so you don't have to USM in PP), or setting the "right" aperture, shutter speed and ISO (so you don't have to apply exposure compensation in PP). The "more" has to do with how you want the shot to look rather than with capturing reality perfectly, which seems to be the end-all goal of most photographers in the various forums I frequent.

  5. #5
    eNo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Downey, CA
    Posts
    194

    Re: Why OOC JPG can't match PP for me

    Quote Originally Posted by PopsPhotos View Post
    What the computer programs for PP have done is change the cost of darkroom.
    It's done more than that. It's increased the possibilities of what you can do with an image. Michael Freeman says in his "Mastering Black & White digital photography" book that he believes we can do more than was ever possible with film development and printing. One example would be the ability to apply different color filters to different parts of the image during B&W conversion (which is in fact what I did for the B&W sample in the OP). I also know that in my case, my digital darkroom is a lot cheaper than one for film would be. I don't have to do a lot of heavy accounting. Just the fact that I don't need to save floor space in my house for it (my computer desk has other uses, and hence is not dedicated floor space) tells me that I am way ahead. Add the environmental impact of dealing with chemicals, and I'm so glad I'm using a mouse (and yes, my PC will have to be properly disposed some day).

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Why OOC JPG can't match PP for me

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill44 View Post

    If you are one who is happy with OOC Jpegs then that's fine, it's your camera and it's your shot, just don't be one of those who take a High and Mighty attitude of superiority with those who choose to Post Process, because in some cases you may be showing how little you know
    about Photography.
    I take a "horses for courses" approach ... if I'm shooting a landscape that will eventually be sold to the public then I'm going to be shooting RAW and subsequently giving the image the full "deluxe" treatment in post ... at the other end of the spectrum, if I'm enjoying a weekend away with a spot of traveling I may well just take and use the iPhone.

    At the end of the day it's an individual choice ... but having said that, that individual also has to live with the consequences of that choice

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •