10 May Thoughts on Post-Processing
With the introduction of digital cameras onto the photography scene approximately thirty years ago, everyone who acquired one immediately became a photographer, or at least they thought they did. The digital camera turned out well-exposed images as it adjusted automatically the lens opening (f-stop) and the shutter speed, especially under difficult lighting conditions, such as low light or night scenes. It released the advanced amateur photographer and the professional photographer from the task of setting these values themselves, often needing an independent light meter to do so, as well as selecting the correct film. The iPhone camera of 2007 provided the first opportunity for easily obtaining really good digital images anytime and anyplace incorporating a plain camera interface, sharing capabilities and downloading. Not surprisingly, many amateurs snapped prize-winning photographs with a digital camera as did professional photographers, who advanced the field of digital photography with some great photographs.
In the era of digital photography for all, post-processing provides a creative opportunity for the serious photographer to “edit” any digital image in a personal way and produce a unique photograph. Post-processing means that any digital image (or almost any digital image), which might be taken by many amateurs or professionals, and in this case by you, becomes a one-of-kind image with digital manipulation using Photoshop or other software developed for that purpose.
Post-processing represents a process controlled by the photographer. Photoshop includes myriad tools to post-process an image. However, it is only a tool. The photographer must approach post-processing with a clear goal in mind for manipulation of the image and “its final look.” Even before you start the process, you should visualize the final image. The final image should represent an enhanced starting image, so that the final image is distinguished as a “one-of-kind.” Importantly, you should like its looks.