Post-processing: one-third of the job

It’s true. Taking a photograph is only one part of the final image. The rest is what you do afterwards, whether that’s in the dark room or on your computer. Andy Williams posted a couple of his photos, including the before and after shots. It’s amazing the difference that a few minutes in the GIMP will do to a photo! Then, you have to ask yourself, how much is too much?

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

3 replies on “Post-processing: one-third of the job”

This “how much is too much” question is an interesting one, but I think it’s a bit misleading. A better question, for me, is does an image tell me something about the world or show me something that I might not otherwise have seen? If the answer is yes, it’s a good photograph, irrespective of the amount of post-processing or the effort that went into an image’s creation. For example, Ansel Adams work relied on “his” vision – the strength of his work is directly related to his skill in converting a negative to a print that captured his vision of the world. For anyone to say, “but that’s not how it looked!” would be to miss the point of what he was trying to convey. And the same principle applies to digital editing – it’s about using the tools at your disposal to create an image that says what you want to say. Perhaps “too much” is when it’s done badly, when it’s “too” obvious, or when it’s simply done for effect.

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