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05-12-2019, 02:47 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
"Art is never finished, only abandoned" - Leonardo da Vinci
I don't know that da Vinci is such a great example as he really struggled to finish his art.

The big thing to me is to try to get my images as close to what I was seeing when I took the photo and then stop there. Maybe "enhanced realism" -- not oversaturated colors, but some sharpening and bumping of shadows.

05-12-2019, 02:57 AM - 1 Like   #17
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Here is one I made earlier. In reality this is a derelict building but I tried out every slider in DarkTable. This was the the result. Looking at it now it seems that some of those sliders should have been left alone...
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05-12-2019, 06:12 AM - 1 Like   #18
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When it looks over processed, back up a step, that's enough.
05-12-2019, 06:30 AM - 2 Likes   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
Here is one I made earlier. In reality this is a derelict building but I tried out every slider in DarkTable. This was the the result. Looking at it now it seems that some of those sliders should have been left alone...
Even then, it depends on what you want to do. Probably over the top as a travel or street photography picture, but would be gorgeous on a poster publicizing a music show for a rock band or as cover art for an album...

Sometime, you want the picture to show how or what the scene makes you felt instead of how you saw it...

05-12-2019, 06:33 AM - 1 Like   #20
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I have no problem with having an image look the way it did, if it looked great and can't really be improved upon.
I also have no interest in bland every day looking images. People who post pictures that are truly ordinary based on it being their interpretation of "how it really looked" makes me captive to their lack of imagination in seeing what was there. Part of the goal of photography is to find the interesting among the ordinary.

If the scene was special, I want it to look special. And most scenes that look special didn't look special straight off the camera.

But beyond the photography is art. The raw is a canvas. Documentary photography depends on people being interested in your subject.
Art depends on composition and alteration of the original subject matter to conform to human neurology. The way we look at the world. If you're lucky you find such compositions, if you aren't, you help nature out in post processing.

The goal in post processing is not to confirm a tiny portion of reality that is one person's interpretation of what a scene looked like knowing full well that others saw it differently. It not an opportunity to impose your "this is the way it was" view of reality on everyone else. it's to produce a compelling image that others can appreciate.

'This is exactly the way it was" produces photgraphy not worth looking at, in many instances. To the point where I think a good photographer shoots images for what he/she can make them. Not for what they see in the viewfinder. To do that, you need enough experience to understand what the camera will capture, and what you can accomplish in post. There is no absolute "the way it was". People see things differently. Try listening to different witnesses of the same event in a court proceeding. You'll understand, they were looking at the same thing, but they didn't see the same thing. 'The way it was" means "the way it was for me, to the exclusion of the way everyone else saw it." It also has the built in excuse, "my picture is boring, but that's the way it was." My question would be "Then why did you take the picture."

Looking through my camera, I probably don't even see what the "the way it was" people see. I see artistic possibilities.
You train your eye to do that. Nothing is more boring than the images of an untrained eye.

To me, "this is the way it was" is probably the last refuge of someone who didn't see the best shooting angles, didn't understand what could be done in post, and isn't aware enough to understand how it was for him is not the way it was for everyone else. The more accomplished would say something like "this is how I captured it" with no reference to some arbitrary reality.

You have to work first at "what is the most interesting way to shoot this." Then you have to work at "what is the most interesting way to post process this." Slacking off on either just makes your work bland.

Last edited by normhead; 05-12-2019 at 07:30 AM.
05-12-2019, 07:18 AM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
'This is exactly thee way it was" produces photgraphy not worth looking, in many instances. To the point where I think a good photographer shoots images for what he/she can make them. Not for what they see in the viewfinder. To do that, you need enough experience to underwent what the camera will capture, and what you can accomplish in post. There is no absolute "the way it was". People see things differently. Try listening to different witnesses of the same event in a court proceeding. You'll understand, they were looking the same thing, but they didn't see the same thing. 'The way it was" means "the way it was for me, to the exclusion of the way everyone else saw it."
Totally true. This also reminds me how different photographers shooting the same scene at the same time can turn out amazingly different pictures. Not two people see the things in the same way or want to tell the same story (if there's a story to tel to begin with). For example, on a sports event, some will focus on the winning team, some will focus on the other one, while other will just catch great individual performance no matter the end results... All these people will came up with completely different results of "how it was". For some it will be "Hearth breaking defeat", for others "Unexpected win and the cup for team X", while for others it will "Amazing performance of Johny Z"...
05-13-2019, 02:11 AM - 2 Likes   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgski Quote
When it looks over processed, back up a step, that's enough.
Best, most succint answer, and it has the virtue of being true.

If it's something people would comment on, even in a complimentary way, it's too much. Just enough is the point at which you've made the picture look as good as you can without making it noticeable. I've used the analogies in the past to womens' make-up and theatrical stage lighting - it gets past making improvement and starts being a detraction the more anyone can tell it's there. If someone sits through a play and says something about how wonderful the lighting was, then the lighting designer failed, because his job is to make the play plausible to the audience, not to show off his own talents.
05-13-2019, 05:01 AM - 3 Likes   #23
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For those of us who are not working for a client, surely it must be a personal matter. I work on my captured images just enough to please me - sometimes that involves a little processing, at other times a lot. If someone else enjoys the product then that's a bonus.

Philip

05-13-2019, 02:57 PM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
If the scene was special, I want it to look special. And most scenes that look special didn't look special straight off the camera.
That is also true in many cases.
05-15-2019, 04:17 PM - 1 Like   #25
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"You don’t take a photograph, you make it."
Ansel Adams

This is my goal.
So I process my photos to the point I make the impact I want to make with them.
05-15-2019, 05:02 PM - 1 Like   #26
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Not sure where the line is - I think it is moveable, but even bad art is art.
05-15-2019, 05:21 PM - 2 Likes   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
but even bad art is art.
Water from a spring is water, as is water from a sewer.
05-16-2019, 03:05 AM - 2 Likes   #28
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I think generally speaking the most important thing is that we are happy with the photos we take/process. At the same time, if I am honest, it is awfully easy to fall in love with sliders in Lightroom (or whatever other program I use) and over sharpen and over saturate images.

It is good to keep in mind not just what I'm feeling today, but whether I think I will enjoy looking at this particular image in 2 or 3 years. Being a little easier on the sliders and less aggressive with HDR seems to give images a bit more "staying power."
05-17-2019, 02:09 PM - 1 Like   #29
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How much processing is a very subjective thing. It depends on what you want to portray to your viewer. Do you want a "fair" representation of what the scene looked like through your eyes? Do you want to show the dreamy beauty of the landscape? Do you want to express the dirty grunge of the street scene you captured? Each of these will demand a different level processing. Photography is an art form and as in painting there are those who strive for "realism" and those who are striving for "Fantasy". Each image takes on a life of its own.

John Gringo has a short video on this subject and he has developed a terrific rule of thumb for getting to a good starting point. The rule... err, suggestion is. "1/3 of Too Far!"
Basically, move each of the sliders/settings until you start to cringe, then reset them to 1/3 of the cringe point e.g. If "60" is too much Clarity, then reset it back to around the "20" mark. I've found this to be a good place to start in your post processing.
05-17-2019, 02:23 PM - 1 Like   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I think generally speaking the most important thing is that we are happy with the photos we take/process. At the same time, if I am honest, it is awfully easy to fall in love with sliders in Lightroom (or whatever other program I use) and over sharpen and over saturate images.

It is good to keep in mind not just what I'm feeling today, but whether I think I will enjoy looking at this particular image in 2 or 3 years. Being a little easier on the sliders and less aggressive with HDR seems to give images a bit more "staying power."
Indeed. When I go through images I processed several years ago I often wonder what on earth I was thinking... So when processing now I try to take a break and then go back to have another look. Quite often I'll discover that I pulled some sliders too far
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