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12-02-2012, 06:53 PM   #1
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Are most posting processed pics?

So I've been looking at all these great photos and wondered if the majority (perhaps overwhelmingly so) are post processed, even mildly? Not much seems to be mentioned about PP when a photo is submitted, nor volunteered, unless asked. It's almost as if there's some secret unspoken personal alchemy method ... colors accentuated, images softly blurred, etc. Yes, I understand, each has their own technique.

While I understand there are those (subjectively) great pictures requiring no manipulation whatsoever, shouldn't a newcomer to these forums, to the digital photographic world ... or one considering a DSLR purchase, assume point & shoot is usually just the start?

12-02-2012, 07:10 PM   #2
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Some people shoot only jpg, and do nothing afterward.

However, shooting raw allows a significant amount of control way beyond what is possible with jpg. That does not mean you have to spend several minutes, or more, on each one.

I shoot only raw, and therefore process every one. Much of that includes hitting the "auto" button, then sliding one or two sliders to suit my taste, and leveling the horizon. In a few instances I can spend another couple seconds cloning out spots or the errant trashcan or stroller. Cropping may happen, too.

Many claim post-processing is the lazy-man's way to "fix" a photo, and pride themselves on "getting it right" in the camera. That's wonderful, but no way is my K-5 (or me) so accurate or reliable in metering that no adjustments are beneficial. I actually think PP is the opposite - taking the time to tweak it for the optimum quality when you see what you actually have.
12-02-2012, 07:14 PM   #3
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nothing secret about it, post processing is an essential part of making the photo, as is clicking the shutter. Everyone develops their own look and style eventually. Though I have fallen into a work flow that works for the look i want to achieve, I have great admiration and respect for many on here who have some advanced PP skills and can really work the image. Others prefer a minimalist approach which is fine too.

I should add that shooting in jpg mode (vs RAW) is actually processing, since color schemes and sharpening algorithms are assigned to the photo. I am too much of a control freak to have the camera make those decisions without me so I stick to RAW and tweak sliders in Adobe Camera Raw, most of the time.
12-02-2012, 07:20 PM   #4
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Post processing has been around as long as photography itself. Even when people took film to the local drug store for developing it was likely post processed to fix exposure and colors. Just being a JPG straight out of the camera doesn't mean it was not processed, on the K-5 there are tons of options for tweaking the JPG settings to get just the output you want. This is a lot like how it was with developing film, something is being done behind the scenes, whether you know about it or not.

A RAW file with absolutely nothing applied to it looks very plain and boring, but when you look at them on the camera it has the same settings applied to it as a JPG so it looks fine. Some software will import these settings by default so you might not see the plain RAW file.

Just about every good picture you see is post processed to some degree.

12-02-2012, 07:28 PM   #5
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PP and utilizing the full potential of the camera

There is one major issue: the sensor has 14 bits of data in the input side (in the case of the K5, other cameras sometimes have more or less). The final output JPG contains only 8 bits, so a process must be done to choose which part of the data will be included in the final JPG. If you shoot JPG, you let the camera do the PP, that's all. If you shoot RAW, You do the PP stage yourself. There is nothing more "realistic" in JPG shooting, just less work and less control of the output. Some apply further steps like horizon leveling (I do that stage for instance), dust removing and even object removing.
I personally think that objects removing and/or cropping affects the realism of the photo and is less accepted. Others think it's acceptable, which is fine too.
12-02-2012, 07:29 PM   #6
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Raw files I develop a bit, usually just color/contrast.
Jpegs not so much unless I have some kind of problem, Like a dirty sensor etc.
12-02-2012, 07:30 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
...

Just about every good picture you see is post processed to some degree.
+1
I've read so many discussions on this topics and even seen those who seem to brag that they upload their pics straight out of camera, as if that somehow speaks to their camera technique, etc... Well, i've looked at thousands and thousands of photos and am pretty sure I've never seen an unprocessed (SOOC) image that took my breath away.

Translation: unless you work at the DMV, if you are uploading unworked images, they are probably really dull looking.
12-02-2012, 07:41 PM   #8
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A camera is a computer, if you wish, it is a post processor for your sensor. Straight out of camera jpegs, are just processed using the cameras settings, which can be adjusted however you want.

I do shoot in RAW and in order to get the most out of my images, I tweak them in Lightoom. I'll burn the sky, dodge dark areas and do some sharpening at the least. The K5 has huge dynamic range at base ISO, but if you don,t do anything to bring it out, a lot of that data is wasted.

12-02-2012, 07:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Euronitzan Quote
I personally think that objects removing and/or cropping affects the realism of the photo and is less accepted.
I can understand being against removing things, which I have done in some cases that called for it, like unavoidable background objects. Cropping isn't in the same category though, especially if you've used a camera that doesn't have a 100% viewfinder, like my old K100D. Since I couldn't easily predict exactly what was cut off by the viewfinder I would always end up with more than I wanted in the shot.
12-02-2012, 07:47 PM   #10
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Like other's mentioned, there's no secret about it. Either the camera does the PP and you are happy with the result or you do it at home with another software package.
To me settling for the default jpeg settings is like throwing 90% of my K5's capabilities. That's a lot of wasted money! There's no reason in making special notes if the image was post processed.
If you want to know specifics of a certain image, just ask a question.
12-02-2012, 07:49 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
nothing secret about it, post processing is an essential part of making the photo, as is clicking the shutter. Everyone develops their own look and style eventually. Though I have fallen into a work flow that works for the look i want to achieve, I have great admiration and respect for many on here who have some advanced PP skills and can really work the image. Others prefer a minimalist approach which is fine too.

I should add that shooting in jpg mode (vs RAW) is actually processing, since color schemes and sharpening algorithms are assigned to the photo. I am too much of a control freak to have the camera make those decisions without me so I stick to RAW and tweak sliders in Adobe Camera Raw, most of the time.
*point point* What Mike said! Thanks Mike - ya saved me some typing LOL!

ETA: As Nuff says, ask and people will tell you. At great length. With as many details about the workflow they've been tweaking for years as you'll let them rattle on about. *cough* I may just be that person. Most likely

One thing's pretty darned sure at PF - if you show up saying, "That shot is gorgeous! How did you do it?" you will get more helpful advice than you can use in the first year of learning

.
12-02-2012, 08:20 PM   #12
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Appear my suspicions are correct, thanks. Next question ... I assume most RAW PP programs have presets saveable to file containing the tweaks done to create the image, correct? If so, then these files could be used by others (assuming they have the same program) which could prove helpful as a starting point especially if the photo or desired effect is similar. Has it been your experience these files are freely exchanged amongst one another, or does the forum itself have an archive of PP template files?
12-02-2012, 08:26 PM   #13
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Just use teh google.

Perfect Presets for Camera Raw - onOne Software

PresetsHeaven | Your source to free Lightroom presets

Aperture presets. Adjustment presets for Apple Aperture
12-02-2012, 08:36 PM   #14
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As much as presets can give you some great results, I can't recommend strongly enough that you put your photo in your editing program and just....try everything. Tweak every slider, check out every effect, look up tutorials and see how people combine techniques - put your photo through a pretzel of processes and pay close attention to what it looks like at every stage. Try to imagine a way you'd like to alter the photo and then play with effects until you hit on one that works.

This process is really important to developing an eye for color, for contrast, for exposure, for detail, for how post processing works. It's work that's play!

.
12-02-2012, 08:40 PM   #15
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Good stuff, too bad I can't find much if anything for Darktable.
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