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  1. #1
    monkey44 monkey44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Cape Cod, MA, USA

    Post-shot 'fixes'

    See a lot of chat here about what a photographer does in a photo program after the image is transferred to the computer...

    As a journalist, I need to create images that reflect the actual scene as it is at the time the shot is taken. Altho, as with any print or slide film, and in the darkroom, some variation of contrast and exposure time always happens to the beneift of the image itself.

    But, I'm wondering how much is acceptable in any 'reality venue' as opposed to a photo showing how our world appears at any given moment. We capture one infintisimal portion of our world as it exists the second we push the shutter button.

    I do very little processing after the fact for that reason. However, I began as a film-slide journalist years ago and have grudgingly given in to the DSLR, at first due to cost variables in my work, but lately, just because it works, is easier, and most publishers want digital now anyway. And in addition, I know very little about PC programs and DSLRs as to what they are actually capable of, but know it's way, way, way more than I'll every use.

    SO, I wonder how we justify making all these digital inhancements to the world, or in some cases even, to overcome our own personal limitations in our shooting ability. Am, I'm absolutely guilty of it as well, so am not pointing fingers here. Just curious how we - as photographers - justify changing that view of the individual moment we've captured.

    I'm setting aside the shots we do for advertising and other media here - but simply asking the other journalists in here how you perceive these processing changes and what effect it has on how you approach your work. I personally change very little, brightness, contrast, and sharpen practically all I use under most circumstances, and when I shoot my images ( almost exclusively outside work or well lit interior sports), usually set it up as if it's an old SLR without all the fancy tricks in the camera itself.

    So, why buy DSLR, you ask? Because it works well and is effective and efficient in the field ... so what about you other folks out there??? What about the digital inhancements you use ... and how do you feel about its 'reality', its true portrayal of that moment in time we memorialize. Just Curious .... M 44

  2. #2
    Woe is me! wfooshee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Panama City, Florida

    Re: Post-shot 'fixes'

    I mostly use it to "correct" an image. It may not be what I remember seeing at the time, or the camera's metering simply underexposed, or I didn't get white balance correct and everything's blue. As for enhancement, I don't really do much of that. Maybe just a bit more red in that sunset.

    Almost every image I post anywhere has been cropped. I shoot just a bit more than I think I want so I can "compose" by cropping on the computer.

    I've experimented with HDR, but I don't like any more "HDR-ness" than I need to bring back clipped detail. I don't care for most of the shots I've seen proclaiming HDR, when they look like computer-generated CGI cartoons.

    I've also used Photoshop to mix different frames into one. Our family's traditional Thanksgiving "Everybody in front of the house for The Picture!!!!" is an example. I didn't want to use the timer because you can't make 35 people stare at a blinking camera for 10 or 15 seconds, so I shot the picture, had someone come to the camera and put myself in the group, and between those two frames I'd get an "everybody" picture built.

    Folks that shoot for advertising will construct pictures from pieces they find all over the place, almost from nothing sometimes. They're not journalists, they're not trying to present as-is, they're trying to present "your life will be complete with." Nothing they do is meant to be "real," it's meant to hype a product. I'm not an advertiser, and I don't mean to look down my nose at that work. It's not photography as in recording an image, it's photography as in getting the pieces to assemble an image.

    I'm not creative enough for that, I'm happy with "This is about what I was seeing there that day."

  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

    Re: Post-shot 'fixes'

    Don't be naive about "reality." What your camera captures isn't reality. The colors and contrast were decided on by engineers and product managers. And as soon as you choose a lens, an angle, an aperture, you've just manipulated the "truth." I'm not saying you shouldn't try to represent reality as well as you can. Obviously, as a jourmalist, that's your job. But it sounds to me like you're overly concerned about it, and forgetting how much manipulation has already happened by the time you press the shutter release. I think if your intent is to tell the truth, then you'll tell the truth. You know when you've gone too far.

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