To process or not to process…..

Category : Photography

Ive always had questions from friends and fellow photogs, asking me just how much of my photos are really straight from camera and how much of it are heavily edited.

Well this is an insight to the things I do during post production.

First things first, not all photographs needs to be retouched with an imaging software to make it “pop”. How much editing a photo needs is dependant on who is it’s intended audience.

For example, you wouldnt want to spend too much time editing family picnics as much as you should for a commisioned job. Then again, even for a commisioned job, one should try to get it right in camera as much as possibe as you possibly can.

Continue on more for examples of a heavily edited portrait/fashion type image

Keep in mind that this was all done in photoshop, this was before i added lightroom into my workflow. More on that later

Here Ill be using some images from a recent shoot of bridal gowns. The whole pace of the shoot was hectic. There were 3 of us, 2 talents and abt 10 gowns. One has to be really quick with decisions on posing, lighting cos you wont have time to reshoot(we were really pressed for time)

I usually have a predetermined visual in my head while doing the actual shooting. That in turn speeds up the photo taking act abit. I know which angle works and which images i need to take more in order to fix/or use during post processing.

With this particualar pose and location, I wasnt too keen on the whole background. Composition wise the sudden abrupt end of the building and the sudden sky was quite an eyesore for me. I had to improvise, with that in mind i had to place the talent right where i wanted, and fix it in post afterwards. I also had to shoot a few stops under to keep the details of the gown and den balance both the background and foreground during post.

<strong>to summarize</strong> (in sequential order):
– work on the background
– work on the details of face, fix blemishes, stray hairs, etc
– work on the gown
– work the skin tone

This image was a wee bit trickier. I knew i had to place the lightsource close to subject and keep it nicely diffused but i get harsh light reflections on the wooden door, even the composition had to be recropped and straightened due to me forgetting to compose properly

to summarize (in sequential order):
– work on the background
– remove glaring highlights on wooden door
– work on the details of face, fix blemishes, stray hairs, etc
– work on the gown details

I hope you get something out of this, my workflow has been quite consistent after adding lightroom into the equation. There are times when i dont even need to go to Photoshop. That being said, im always curious to know how other’s get their photographs from the idea in their head, to being captured in camera and den finalised in the digital darkroom

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