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How Long in Photoshop?

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User_Removed
28 Oct 2010 - 5:28 PM

At our camera club recently, the guest speaker was showing us some of his prints, including those that formed his portfolio for his RPS Fellowship. They were mainly monochrome street scenes from Cuba and, make no mistake, every image was absolutely superb.

However, he often said that an image took 6 hours or more in Photoshop before it was ready for printing and that the 20 images in his FRPS portfolio took 6 weeks in Photoshop working 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. (They were taken with a Canon full frame digital and shot in RAW).

As I say, they were all absolutely superb but, given the same skill of capture in camera, there was no image that, in the old days, I could not have produced in the darkroom from an FP4 negative (or Tri-X if required for poor light) in, say, 20 minutes per print. Also, I suspect that, given a digital RAW file that had not been too badly exposed in-camera, I suspect that I could produce something very close to his results without going near Photoshop and merely using the basic tools in Lightroom in, again, about 20 minutes.

I say "very close" to his results because I suspect that the huge amount of time he devoted to each image possibly must make a slight,if imperceptible, difference, but whether the improvement was 1%, 2% or 5% (how would one measure it?) was worth all the extra hours, I really don't know. Maybe it is that extra 1% or 2% that makes the essential difference for a FRPS.

But it did leave me wondering how long the keen amateur would normally spend "photoshopping" an image, assuming that the RAW file was well captured in the first place.

So, guys and guyesses - a simple two part question:

If you are preparing an image for a competition, what is:

(a) The average time you are likely to spend in "post processing"?

(b) The maximum time you would contemplate spending in "post processing"?



My own answers would probably be in the region of (a) 10 minutes, (b) 30 minutes.

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28 Oct 2010 - 5:28 PM

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mattw
mattw  105189 forum posts United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
28 Oct 2010 - 5:39 PM

(a) I don't time myself, so I may be totally wrong, but for most of my photos I would guess somewhere region of 5minutes to 15 minutes.

(b) As long as it takes.....

As far as I remember, the old masters such as Ansel Adams used to spend an awful long time in the darkroom getting each print just right.

Last Modified By mattw at 28 Oct 2010 - 5:40 PM
User_Removed
28 Oct 2010 - 5:57 PM


Quote: ...and that the 20 images in his FRPS portfolio took 6 weeks in Photoshop working 8 hours a day, 7 days a week.

That...

Is obsessive.

And I would argue, completely unnecessary to achieve the standard sought.

Digital post-production has made life a lot easier to achieve 'magical' standards these days (if you wish to go that far - of course) but...

17hrs/image!!!

swanseamale47
28 Oct 2010 - 5:59 PM

Somewhere between 5 minutes and ah hour maybe, even when I was doing high res images for a calendar I only took about 40 minutes per image and they needed a LOT of work, I'm talking very detailed spotting selective focusing and sharpening etc etc. I honestly can't see what would take 6 hours unless your making huge panoramas with massive raw files and a slow processor.

lobsterboy
lobsterboy Site Moderator 1014128 forum postslobsterboy vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
28 Oct 2010 - 6:44 PM


Quote: That...

Is obsessive.

nope, That.....

Is mental!

Seriously if they were that crap in the first place just go out and shoot something better! It was only for the RPS it's not like a wedding or event when you only get one chance to get the image.
a) These days I spend about 5mins in Lightroom and maybe a couple more in PS.
b) As long as it needed & was worth doing, but about 20mins I guess.

cambirder
cambirder  107202 forum posts England
28 Oct 2010 - 6:53 PM

Can't what is wrong with taking your time and experimenting a bit until you get the result you want. I suspect the guy has achieved good shots in camera (You can't turn average ones into superb ones as described by the OP) and I doubt if like many of us he fills his memory card up every time he goes out. You can afford to spend a long time over each image if you have just a few to work with but not if you have several hundred.

Last Modified By cambirder at 28 Oct 2010 - 6:53 PM
cameracat
cameracat  108578 forum posts Norfolk Island61 Constructive Critique Points
28 Oct 2010 - 7:16 PM

Well he is never going to make any money shooting weddings, A rough calculation on 100 wedding shots, Means he would need just over 7 months to process them......Grin

If he streamlined his wokflow, He might get 2 weddings a year done.....Smile

Assuming he wants to make around 50k per year, Thats 25k per wedding.........Sad

No matter how good he is, 25k wedding shoots are a little thin on the ground.....!!!

But you don't know, He might be struggling with an old Windows 95 machine and 128mb of ram, That might slow his workflow a tad.....Smile

On the other hand he might be polishing each and every pixel, Who knows.....Grin

One thing is for sure, He probably don't get out much......Wink

Just how long is a piece of string.....???

User_Removed
28 Oct 2010 - 7:27 PM


Quote: One thing is for sure, He probably don't get out much......

A - bleedin' Men!

Wink

User_Removed
28 Oct 2010 - 7:50 PM


Quote:
Seriously if they were that crap in the first place just go out and shoot something better! It was only for the RPS it's not like a wedding or event when you only get one chance to get the image..

I feel I must comment on that.

I seriously do not think they were in any sense "crap in the first place". I got the feeling he was an inspired photographer who intuitively took great compositions and was thoroughly competent with his camera.

What really shook me was the time he said he spent post-processing in Photoshop. I feel there must be a "law of diminishing returns" operating between processing time and improvements in image quality - maybe the first five minutes gives big potential improvements, the next 15 minutes gives somewhat lesser improvements and the next hour provides only marginal improvements. So, what are you striving for if you are still sat in front of the computer screen staring at the same image 6 hours later?

I must confess That I am at the other end of the scale. I probably look for 50% of the image quality to be formed before I raise the viewfinder to my eye, 40% to be formed by virtue of my camera settings and 10% in post-processing. To the extent that if an image is so bad that I cannot see a way of making it acceptable in 10 minutes or so, I probably don't bother. But this guy clearly had a totally different perspective. (And he has an FRPS and I don't!!!)

JamesGarfield
28 Oct 2010 - 8:06 PM

Perhaps you could share the name of the speaker (can't see his name mentioned) so we can check his work out? Presumably he will have some sort of website, that way we can get a chance to appreciate what all these hours have gone into?

Alan_Warriner
28 Oct 2010 - 8:07 PM

Maybe it's his hobby and he likes doing it, of course he could always go off and watch TV Smile

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315182 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
28 Oct 2010 - 8:18 PM

Shoot in jpeg, job done

User_Removed
28 Oct 2010 - 8:34 PM

( pmsl!!! )

cambirder
cambirder  107202 forum posts England
28 Oct 2010 - 8:48 PM


Quote: Well he is never going to make any money shooting weddings

I would rather spend a whole day working on one picture, than have to shoot and PP one ******** wedding Wink

User_Removed
28 Oct 2010 - 10:07 PM


Quote: I would rather spend a whole day working on one picture, than have to shoot and PP one ******** wedding Smile

LOL!!!

(Oh... Yus!!)

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