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10-17-2013, 01:18 PM   #61
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I'll throw my two bits in as well. First, post-processing is not the same as editing, but many programs geared towards post-processing have some editing capabilities, and vice-versa. Editing is like drawing a new picture, PP is like cleaning up an existing picture. Good editing takes lots of time, thought and training, and can only be applied to one photograph at a time. Post-processing is a matter of fine-tuning and once you make suitable adjustments for one picture, the same tuning can be applied to many pictures. I don't recommend using editing programs for PP, even if they have the functions you want built in, using those functions will be more time consuming than with a program dedicated to PP. Do your PP work first, even if you want to edit the image. Start with colour adjustments, then denoise and sharpen. Cropping and resampling should be done last, with a copy of the picture file after the other adjustments have been done. Nothing worse than going back to square one because you made changes to the file that can't be undone. And try to find something easier to use for PP than Gimp, it has the most unintuitive interface ever, and should only be used for editing. If it has to be free, I recommend Irfanview.

10-18-2013, 01:15 AM   #62
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Unintuitive and "different than what i am used to" are not exactly the same thing.
GIMP is no more or less unintuitive than PhotoShop. Invest a few hours of your time to watch tutorials on Youtube and be happy about the fact that you spared a rather considerable sum of money (to spend on lenses and other camera equipment instead).

Still, while GIMP is a very useful tool to have in your arsenal, just like PhotoShop it's not really needed for general PP work.
For that use DarkTable instead.
10-18-2013, 02:12 AM   #63
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I'm a bit out of place here ... I use Filterstorm and/or Photogene on my iPad for post. I tried Lightroom but it ran like treacle laced with tar on my 2008 iMac, and didn't give me results any better than I got on the iPad - possibly not even as good.

The biggest thing for me is that I don't want to be hiding away in my computer room; I like being able to sit out with the rest of the family (and I don't have a laptop). The other big thing is how much easier I find it using masking tools by touching the screen than by fiddling with a mouse.

So, the tools. Now the philosophy? ... I used to feel that SOOC was an ideal to aim for, and if my images didn't come out of the camera spot on then it was a failing. But I've changed my mind - because of arguments the same as have been raised in this thread.

For basic post it's just as said or at least implied by others in this thread: bringing the image closer to the way my eye represented the scene to me. That can require a range of tools, most of which have been mentioned.

Then there's B&W, which is its own different animal. It's obviously not representing the scene as the eye did, but it somehow doesn't seem to me like major image manipulation. There's a hell of a lot more to a good B&W than just desaturating though, so those PP tools are necessary again.

Then there's the image manipulation, which for me means firing up a filter-based app (mostly Aviary, since Camerabag2 mostly stopped working with iOS7). That's when I just want to conjure up some sort of feel or look that is perhaps implied by the photograph, but is more based in some other cultural/artistic/temporal reference than it is in reality.
10-18-2013, 03:02 AM   #64
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There's a reason RAW files have that name. They need some tweaking, or development, to get the most out of the file for whatever your aim is. And it's more than getting "correct" exposures too, it's also about defining an aesthetic; Kodachrome 25 was my favourite film for the hi-res grain structure and the gorgeous colour quality. There's nothing wrong with emulating that "look" or creating your own.

Cheating has nothing to do with it as this is not some test, or isolated craft exercise, it's an opportunity to be an artist.

10-18-2013, 03:13 AM   #65
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^^^^ this ^^^^

Photography need not be completely representational, despite its obvious ties to the real/solid.

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