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04-14-2014, 08:59 AM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
The simple answer to "why post process?" is so that you can decide how you want your image to look rather that letting the guy that wrote the camera firmware decide how it should look.
Exactly this. I want the image to show what I saw or what I like. I'll edit the image to be my artistic interpretation - and it's especially important to me because I have no talent at actually produce a painting or drawing. So I use the photograph as my canvas.

04-14-2014, 09:05 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sigmund Quote
I assume that the point of serious work is to correct errors and improve the image. The question arises as to what in technical terms a good image is and what post-processing techniques are commonly used to help achieve one. These are of course big questions but I wonder if Pentaxians can point me in the direction of some introductions on the web. So far I've done a speed read of Bampton's quickstart guide to Lightroom as a copy of that is in the mail.
Post-processing can fix small flaws in what is otherwise a good image. Correctable flaws include sensor dust (often manifests as a dark blotch on a blue sky), camera held out of level, etc. You can also sometimes transform a mediocre image into an excellent one by extending the technical capabilities of your camera.

For example, an image of distant mountains on a humid day looks hazy and colorless, but contrast and color adjustments and cut through some of the haze.

Another example: A cave or tunnel entrance is an exposure challenge. I can expose for the tunnel interior and blow-out the exterior wall, or expose for the exterior and get a black cave with no detail visible. HDR techniques let you combine 2 or more images when light conditions are tricky.
04-14-2014, 09:42 AM   #18
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There are really 2 schools of thought on the subject. There are those, perhaps the most vocal advocates or RAW who think it is necessary to post process everything, and shoot raw because it gives them total control over workflow, as well as being able to recover from mistakes. There are others, self included, that consider trying to get the image right in the camera, with use of the in camera settings, etc, such that no PP is necessary, except for perhaps some slight crops and very minor exposure/ contrast changes.

One approach requires more time in front of the computer, one more thought while shooting. Both can produce what is needed in many cases.
04-14-2014, 01:13 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sigmund Quote
Computer time exacts a price, and my preference is to take pics rather than make them if that's not too twee.

Sigh, LR won't be enough?
As others have said, DxO and Capture One are just alternatives to LR. Any of them should work for you. Various Pentaxians prefer one of the other - they're all good, and LR is more popular, but much like Pentax compared to other camera brands, DxO and Capture One work better for some people.


The Pentax RAW software that came with your camera is even simpler (but still useful) and it may be the best way to start, because it can make your RAW photo look the same as the JPG from your camera, and then you can modify it from there. It can be a bit buggy/crash at times, but I find it worthwhile.

LR will not make your RAW photos look like your JPGs - usually not as good until you figure out how to adjust them. DxO and Capture One usually give better automatic results than LR, if that's important to you (it was to me).

04-14-2014, 01:37 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
For the most part if you get your exposure correct in camera, you won't need much post-processing.

Most of that I do are cropping for magnification or framing, shadow recovery, exposure compensation, occasional sharpening and color adjustment.
I'm extremely new to all of this, but these are the areas I use it for, as well. I've found a lot of shots that I can't quite nail (like my daughter flying around at a playground), so I'll take the bigger shot, and then crop out what I don't need. Outside of that, I like to play with the monochrome filters (helps me learn about contrast), but that's about it.

@ the OP -- I watched a 30 minute Trey Ratcliffle video on LR basics (Youtube), and while the guy seems to be a little odd, he delivered the info in a way that was easy for me to understand. He the 'HDR" guy, so a lot of his stuff is about pumping up color, but the basics were there, too. Was enough to get me off and running, and back out shooting.
04-14-2014, 02:01 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sigmund Quote
Computer time exacts a price, and my preference is to take pics rather than make them if that's not too twee.

Sigh, LR won't be enough?
Modern photography - as much time spent behind a monitor than a viewfinder.
04-14-2014, 02:04 PM - 3 Likes   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Modern photography - as much time spent behind a monitor than a viewfinder.
Pre modern photography - more time spent in the darkroom than behind the viewfinder.
04-14-2014, 02:05 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Pre modern photography - more time spent in the darkroom than behind the viewfinder.
Touche!

Ansel Adams was an obsessive PPer.

04-14-2014, 02:08 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Ansel Adams was an obsessive PPer.
04-14-2014, 02:21 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Touche!

Ansel Adams was an obsessive PPer.

True. The most important thing is that he already knows how he would process his image during printing so he exposes his film accordingly. A bit OT but if were to follow his example in digital photography then most of the time you will realize that "expose to the right" does not work.
04-14-2014, 03:03 PM   #26
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Thanks all. That's very instructive. It's changed the way I think about digital work.

(I used to do my own colour and monochrome darkroom work so can get some of the parallels).
04-14-2014, 04:31 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sigmund Quote
LR won't be enough?
For me I'd say Lightroom does 95% of what I need these days, only the "heavy lifting" gets done in PS CC.
04-14-2014, 10:23 PM   #28
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PP lets you unlock the power of your imagination in a way that cameras simply cannot. They are not precise enough tools, which makes sense. For example the are no settings on y Q that would have lead to this.



only by expressing my imagination in post would I arrive at that result.
04-15-2014, 06:43 AM   #29
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My own take on it is this.


In the days of film, you take a camera and put in it a film that gave a good image with saturated colours good colour balance good dynamic range, - as long as the image was focussed and exposed correctly.


Then you put a lens on it, the lens would give a sharp image and the coatings on the lens would give good contrast.


You finished up in camera with a good sharp image that is contrasty and well exposed.




Then long came digital


The limitations of the digital sensor forced manufacturers to artificially blur whatever image the lens could resolve. This is the infamous anti aliasing filter, it makes every image soft and blurry.


The sensor also suffers problems with dynamic range and this forces adjustments to the image that often result in poor exposure, as has been stated on earlier posts.


Without needlessly exploring this in depth here and now I think you can see that digital images are:-


1 Blurry


2 Poorly exposed (often)




Because of these issues, every digital image must be post processed to sharpen them and adjust exposure.


In film days, every image had to be post processed with an enlarger so nothing has changed.


You must post process.
04-15-2014, 07:18 AM   #30
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^ there were many blurry and poorly exposed images back in the film days, but those images got discarded because it was too difficult to salvage them.
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