Photography, Photoshop

Post-Processing: What is this mysterious art?


There seem to be two groups of people when it comes to Photoshop and the idea of post-processing a photo, those who do and those who do not agree with the idea of ‘photoshopping’.

What is Post-Processing in Photography?

We hear the various buzz words thrown around like Photoshopping and Lightroom Presets, but what is it we are actually doing?

Our cameras are only so good at capturing all those colours, shadows and shapes and often, a little bit of work is needed to bring out in the photo what the camera may not have shown particularly well.  But if you are like me, I set my camera to neutral on most settings as I feel Photoshop does a better job at enhancing contrast, saturation and brightness.

The second part could be we want to maybe rotate or crop the image.

And thirdly, we might want to add or remove parts of the image.  For example, a mole on a persons skin or a fly on a flower.

In summary, we have a small list below that includes part of processing a photograph.

  • Adjusting exposure, contrast and brightness
  • Adjusting colors, hues, tones, saturation and light levels
  • Image cropping
  • Rotate the image to straighten or not
  • Retouching the image.  Add or remove parts of a photo

There is no right or wrong to post-processing, you are altering an image to how you want it to look.  Artistic preference.  Or putting it another way, post-processing is you turning a great photo into an amazing photo that is your creation, and yours only.

Here is an image showing before and after.  The after is done in Photoshop only altering the contrast, brightness then saturation.

I want to show how delicate the Astrantia is and the delicate colors of the little buds on the flower.  A small bit of processing helps me to bring this out in the photo.

Above all, it is the photographers/artists choice and on what he/she wants the final image to look like.  Some people may like/love it, others may not.  But it is your creation, and that is what counts.

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15 thoughts on “Post-Processing: What is this mysterious art?

  1. Lightroom was a game changer for me – really helped up the quality of my photos and help me create a look that is unique to my blog so that when you see a photo you know instantly where it’s from.

  2. I love that you specify that there are no rules in photography processing, it is exactly up to you what you do with an image and what you want it to look like. Great advice!Good luck with your move!

  3. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “0”. Reason: Human SPAM filter found “oy” in “comment_content” *]
    I find photo editing useful if for example the light isn’t right, particularly in Winter months when it is sometimes difficult to find enough light, or you end up with too much fake light. I do get a little annoyed with overuse of filters, and the use of photo editing to change how someone looks, but totally fine with enhancing, cropping, and all that jazz.

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