I tend to post-process a lot of things. Photos, my thoughts, the day, what I did 10 years ago and what I could have done better years ago. You would think if I post-process everything I would have life wired. But it seems I do not! I think like most of us we learn, make mistakes and repeat. My mantra is if you make the same mistake three times you are just not getting it. You are not post-processing your learning. Maybe it might be time to take a deeper look, reflect and strategise on obtainable goals to make changes. I find what stifles reflection and learning is being too busy. This rāhui I have been one of the lucky people to have some time to reflect (while still working from home) with some time to be creative. What a special place I am certainly privileged to be in. Not all people are in this place. But then life is not fair and life is not balanced for everyone. That is a fact and is just an 'is'.
My creativity is best when I am not busy so I have been able to get out photographing in my local bubble. It is amazing what you see as opposed to looking. And it is amazing what you see in your local area that you may never have noticed if in a hurry. It urks me when you ask people how are they going? and they reply, "So busy". I think it sends a subtle signal they have not got the time to talk to you, not interested and more involved with their own worlds rather than having the ability to listen, to learn. It is a trap many have fallen for and a sad part of western society to think it is great to be too busy! I am one that has been in that camp and I realised that it was not the best camp to be in. I received feedback on this and yes it took me several goes to get the message. By being too busy meant I did not allow the ability to listen to others. That meant my personal doors were closed and I missed out on so much learning. A good saying goes
“A fool is made more of a fool, when their mouth is more open than their mind.”
So I encourage you to be less busy, even though you may think your busy. Start changing your language around this and maybe say "you're engaged with what you're doing". Take time to listen to others, clear your mind, breathe. It's amazing what 5 minutes of concentrated breathing a day will do for you. We all have the same 24 hours in the day as each other. Its what we do with the 24 hours that counts.
Post-processing (or editing your image) in photography is necessary. Like you used to take your film to the photography shop to get developed - these were post-processed. Now you have far more control over the process. The trick is, I would advise, is do not over-edit your images. Make sure you edit with purpose, understanding what you want with your final outcome. Generally, with digital images, there are two methods in processing your images. Either;
- In-camera processing or
- on external software in for example Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Photo.
In-camera processing can create JPEGS ready to go and pop online in a flash (excuse the pun!). Outcomes will depend on what you have put your camera settings at. Great if you want to post on social media or send it to a client quickly from location.
Processing in software on a computer means more work and more time. However, the benefit is you will have more ability to play with the final image. Especially if you shoot in RAW you will have far more data in the image to use.
Cover Image - 'Butterfly'
Panasonic, DC-G9, f/6.3, 1/1250sec, 400mm, ISO-400
Given the present rāhui its fantastic to see the beauty that is light and not common. To get this image these little animals don't stay long in the middle of the day so I used a long focal length. This way I could ensure the background was not distracting and the subject was not bothered by me being too close. If I went closer the butterfly tended to take off. The downside is using such a long focal length without a tripod it is rare to get an image sharp. Use of breathing and trying to stay calm helps.
Image Above - 'Morning Glow'
Panasonic, DC-G9, f/8, 1/5000sec, 110mm, ISO-400
Heading back from our cabin fever tandem ride we stopped to soak this vista in. The golden colours are a sight for anyone to breathe in and replenish the soul. Post-processing involved a slight curves adjustment, increasing the vibrancy and sharpening the image.
Image below 'Tandem Freedom'
Below are two images. Taken with my pocket rocket camera Olympus TG6 - It is such a handy machine to have and the best for action. I use this a lot to capture moments in the outdoors. It is awesome as it shoots RAW and gives me latitude with processing the final image. You can see the difference in the way I have post-processed this image and how I have chosen to interpret and represent the experience.
This is the final version post-processed to monochrome.
Here is the original RAW file converted straight into a JPEG with no adjustments. I did like the warmth, however, chose the monochrome look to give the image a stark contrast. It's a personal choice.
Image Above. 'Cicada'
Panasonic, DC-G9, f/6.3, 1/400sec, 400mm, ISO-400
I love the green patterns this image gives, and how the cicada green matches the surroundings. Again I took this with a long lens as these animals tend to jump away if you get too close. I did not have to do much post-processing - I did a slight curves adjustment, increased vibrancy and sharpened the image. I know if there is little post-processing required you have nailed the other key elements like lighting, exposure, ISO, aperture and shutter speed.
Image Below 'Flower'
Canon EOS R, f/6.3, 1/6sec, 100mm, ISO-400
This image is composed of 31 images that have been stacked and blended together in software. It is the best way to give the image a high level of depth of field. This sort of image can only be produced by external software and not in-camera processing.
Andy`s Photography Tips: Post Processing
One of the four facets of photography I have suggested in the 8 April blog was post-processing. Here are some tips to consider;
- Do not over process - be subtle with your actions.
- Do online courses - tonnes on YouTube!
- There is a range of post-processing software out there. Adobe Photoshop is the most powerful to date, however, photoshop elements are far cheaper, and there are others like Affinity Photo, etc to consider.
- Consider how you want your final image to look like before you post-process.
- JPEGS are limited in what you can do in post-processing as they are a compress digital file already processed usually in camera.
- RAW is best for post-processing. All RAW files require some processing
- Remember processing is a necessary part of photography. Like you used to take your film to the photography shop to get developed - these were post-processed. Just now you have far more control over the process.
Please put a comment or emoji below. If you have any questions pop them in the comments box below or send me a video with your questions via Facebook - keep taking photos and get out there!