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04-30-2022, 04:39 AM   #16
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Just near enough, Sam, that takes the pressure off the photographer. Pursuing perfection in the SOOC I think is always at the expense of other things.

It can lead to a lot of time wasting on the photographer's part and the clients, and repeated unnecessary disappointments when it doesn't happen.

A real estate photographer given 45 minutes for each job in the list the boss assigns them in the morning is mad if they don't use flashes, HDR and sky replacement in Photoshop to get through the day.

When the CEO needs his picture taken for LinkedIn, and you want a one hour shoot, and his personal assistant says you've got ten minutes on his way out to his car, you just have to roll with it.

We can be much more anally retentive in our personal projects, IMHO.

04-30-2022, 05:58 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
It can lead to a lot of time wasting on the photographer's part and the clients
In cases of commercial photography, or any time sensitive event, I don't disagree. In those instances, getting an image, or multiple images which can be fixed in post is more important than not getting an image at all.

In contrast, when time is not of the essence, applying the techniques and factors I listed in my previous post are more likely to result in an image that needs less post processing, which leaves more time to enjoy capturing the next image. I've seen this in my own practice, hastily or carelessly taken images are rarely as satisfying to review, let alone improve in post-processing.

I think familiarity with the tools one uses to create an image weighs heavily in the decision process between "get it right in camera" versus "fix it in post". I admit to being more proficient with my camera than I am with processing software, so I lean towards the former over the latter.
04-30-2022, 06:12 AM   #18
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With modern gear you should be able to get a good, sharp, well-exposed image right off. As to whether that is a "perfect shot," I think is a different question.

What makes a good image has more to do with subject, light, composition, and things like that. My wife shoots weddings and of course, she wants to get images as perfect as is possible in camera. When you are editing a thousand images you don't really want to have to tweak every single one.

On the other hand, when I go out in a morning and shoot landscapes, I typically under expose a fair amount to save the highlights, shoot on a tripod, and take only a handful of images. Hopefully three or four of them will be worth post processing and be worth sharing. None will be "perfect" though, even if their exposure and focus is on point.
04-30-2022, 08:05 AM   #19
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while I don’t believe there is a “perfect” shot, I strive to get the exposure, and composition “right” the first time, in camera. For me, 90% of the fun is choosing a subject, composing (looking at the background, assessing blur, finding complementary colors, making sure nothing is growing out of my subject’s head), metering (finding a mid tone, deciding to use Av with AEL or full manual etc) . When I get all these right, I really get a lot of satisfaction from my photography. I guess I really enjoy the “process” of photography as much or even more than the finished product. However, I enjoy the finished photo even more when I can simply tweak the RAW file and convert it to jpeg for my viewing pleasure!!

04-30-2022, 08:16 AM - 1 Like   #20

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Subject and composition are not dependent on post processing and you need that for the 'perfect shot', I feel
04-30-2022, 08:31 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Subject and composition are not dependent on post processing and you need that for the 'perfect shot', I feel
Well, I could use post processing to edit out a distracting object or the like, so composition is something to consider if getting a perfect shot is important. Otherwise I could just “fix it in post” and not worry about that flower growing out of my subject’s head!!
04-30-2022, 09:02 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
I strive towards the perfect shot out of laziness and a feeling that to much editing, even cropping takes away some of the immediacy of a photo..
Exactly that for me. I think it's easier to work hard at the time of capture. I don't enjoy spending a lot of editing time fixing something that I could have done when shooting.

Maybe I'm better at shooting than editing. I'm not good enough to create a convincing sky replacement, so I just don't.

04-30-2022, 11:03 AM - 4 Likes   #23
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One of my pet peeves is when people wander into the perfectly-composed shot I am just about to take. For some time, I used to try to eradicate them from the image in PP, but it was very time consuming.

Then, I had a bright idea, and got an electronic wizz friend to build me a hot-shoe mounted laser (trigger voltage under 4.5 volts), with which I could eliminate the distractions. This only worked up to a point - afterwards, they tended to lie around in untidy attitudes, but at least I could clone some grass over them to improve matters.
04-30-2022, 02:03 PM - 2 Likes   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sam_I_am Quote
Before digital, unless you had your own darkroom and became proficient at developing, you had to rely on trying to capture that "perfect" shot because there was no post editing. (Correct me if I am wrong here).
This isn't correct.... If you didn't have a darkroom, you had to rely on getting your exposure & composition correct enough so that the person at the lab you sent it to would develop, process & print them according to the size prints you wanted. There is no such thing as the "Perfect" shot. It's a matter of ones interpretation, what may seem perfect to one may not appear to be to someone else.
04-30-2022, 06:37 PM   #25

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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Subject and composition are not dependent on post processing and you need that for the 'perfect shot', I feel
Subject and composition are influenced directly with processing, Adjusting color profiles that are using in creating the colors the image can completely change the relationship of objects in your photo by either highlighting your subject or removing unwanted distraction in the background, you can also use color profiles that can produce complementary composition with your subject and the environment.
WB can also be used to reveal shapes colors and textures that are not preset until processed.

If you really want to see composition change rather quickly look at a photo in BW and then in color
05-01-2022, 12:18 AM - 2 Likes   #26

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This is the kind of topic that acts like a spectrometer spreading individual colors of light on a scale from ultra-violet to infrared. We get revealed what a perfect photograph is for each camera user. Interesting to read.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 05-01-2022 at 12:41 AM.
05-01-2022, 01:38 AM - 1 Like   #27
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My approach will always be an almost good enough shot. I’m not even close to perfectionism. What I really enjoy is searching the various aspects and versions of a RAW shot and the artistic quality they can get.
Additionally, considering the subjective nature of digital process (in camera) I almost always feel the need to bring out what I “saw” that the camera has “failed” to capture correctly. That’s often color, but it can be exposure for a number of reasons.
Not that it matters anyway but I think photography audiences don’t need a perfect shot anymore. They ask for super edited photos that can be marketed and cliche wedding albums to store in the closet.
05-01-2022, 03:19 AM   #28
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You can make a meh photo look gorgious through digital post processing, but you can not get consistent high quality photographs without as much efford as you can put into them during taking the picture.

It is true, that Ansel Adams pictures included a lot of postprocessing in the lab, but he also put a lot of professional work into getting perfect negatives as a base of his work in the lab. I guess he would have seen a discussion on what is more important as a complete ignorance of the need to see the whole process.
The iconic picture of James Dean on times square was a lot of professional work from Dennis Stock on location. But it was also a perfect product of post processing in the lab, which Dennis Stock did not do by himself, but he told the guy in the lab where and how to work on the work on the enlargment.

On the other side AFAIK Henri Cartier-Bresson an Robert Capa did not think about lab work very much through the whole of their career.
05-01-2022, 11:14 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
This is the kind of topic that acts like a spectrometer spreading individual colors of light on a scale from ultra-violet to infrared. We get revealed what a perfect photograph is for each camera user. Interesting to read.
You nailed it.
05-01-2022, 02:50 PM - 2 Likes   #30
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  1. I always try to go for the perfect shot
  2. But I am not perfect (nor my pictures)
  3. And I postprocess(ed) on both film and digital (cropping, exposure, ... ) but avoid exaggeration...
Comparing my film to digital shooting style, i take more pictures with digital than I would with film because

  • Recomposing the frame or
  • For bracketing when expecting exposure problems (or hdr)
  • For people or family pictures because there is always one looking or moving the wrong way
  • For moving animals when using 5 fps while tracking
  • For experimentation, what if...,

  • The cost of film & film processing was the main limitation , memory like sdcard is cheap and reusable...
The keeper rate on digital is lower, but is intentionally lower as there are more ”experimental” shots which probably wouldn't have taken with film.

One could also say I have to be more selective on digital to obtain the perfect shot

Last edited by mlag; 05-02-2022 at 11:10 AM.

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