Discovering The World Of Post-Production.

by Hamish Maccuish April. 23, 2017 1162 views

Post-Production Photography...

Have you ever typed those three words into a search engine?! 

It's like opening Pandora's Box! A very scary place! 😱

I think the biggest monster in there is how much PP (post-production) a "photographer" should use.

I read an interesting article while looking at PP stuff that made an impression on me that's stuck; and a rule I'm interested in applying to my journey.

It went a little something like this (in my own words):

"The more we rely on post-production to "fix/create" our images the way we envision them, the less care we put into the practise of taking the best photographs we can. Ultimately, our skills as a photographer won't grow - which is fine; if we would rather become a digital editing master".

Let's face it; some of the things PP software allows us to do to an image is nothing short of INCREDIBLE, and a lot of fun! I enjoy making horror-esk type images and abstract shots which, in my opinion, is where the "illusions" of PP should stop.

Of course, using software to enhance the detail already captured by the camera sensor; to bring life into an image is pretty essential. It's obvious that our eyes and our mind will always be better than a chip at "seeing" the emotion or vision of a certain scene that we want to capture - so pulling that detail out of the data through a fundamental edit is great and a real asset for digital photography; but creating false light, rainbows, shooting stars, changing skies/backdrops or what ever it is that makes an image more of a digital rendering, than a photograph, is moving away from the essence of photography; and that's not where I want to go. I'd rather spend the time waiting for the shot over - "edit it in/out later".

My aim is to grow as a photographer, developing the skills to use a camera to its full potential "in the field" and minimise post production as much as I can.

Any of my "realism" images I post from this point on, I'm going to endeavour to include what type of PP work I've used to share with you, and to encourage me to stick to my goal. It should be obvious that abstract and surreal images will most likely be created in PP.

The following three images are from my first steps into playing with post production.

Fight or Flight!? - had the least amount of PP influence. I used on-camera-flash to get the shot; added a heavy vignette and messed with the green balance a lot, and added a bit of contrast.

Beautiful Memories - had a bit more changed, but technically not more so. I dropped the colours, all except reds, boosted contrast and added a soft vignette and added a frame to the image - more for Instagram than any other reason.

Welcome To Oldbury - While I kept the colouring mostly the same (there was some adjustment to make the rust colours pop) I wanted to use an effect I'd used before. I like the nausea feeling of "fringing" added with a little lens distortion give a feeling of falling in. I didn't want the effect to apply to the sign - it became lost in the image; so I worked on two copies of the image. One for the background, the other on the sign.

I cut the sign from one image and paste it (with a lot of sizing and skewing for a prefect fit) on the other; keeping the focus in the right place for what I wanted.

I used a great PP-programme on chrome called Polarr. 

Please leave me any constructive pointers, ideas and comments below.

Thanks for reading.

Night Vision By Old Building

Fight or Flight!?

Rusty Sign On Rusted Iron Wall

Welcome To Oldbury

Red Tree Selective Colour In Graveyard

Beautiful Memories

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