What is more important, the shot or the editing software afterwards?


chrisbryan 6 122 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2015 11:08PM
Just wondering what people think about photoshop, lightroom etc. Are we too guilty of relying on the software to create a better image therefore spending less time on the shot in the first place? I say this as someone who does not own any software apart from the Canon one that came with the camera. I would love to get into photoshop as I'm sure it can improve the overall final result but is that missing the point?

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Paul Morgan 18 19.4k 6 England
11 Apr 2015 11:15PM
Its always better to get it right in camera (or as close as possible) irrespective of how you work.
mikehit 10 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
11 Apr 2015 11:33PM
Photoshop cannot turn a bad photo into a great one...or even a good one. But yes, it can enhance an image.
At the end of the day it is all personal choice and the only thing I would say is to be honest about it.

My preference at the moment is to minimise post processing and get it right in camera - partly because I don't particularly like spending ages in front of a computer screen but partly because I can't be bothered learning all the fancy tricks. But that is to satisfy myself rather any particular photographic morality.
11 Apr 2015 11:54PM
Camera is primary for sure. If one cannot better it's results in Photoshop or any other editing program - they may still be capable of taking photos that will be decent at least.
Unfortunately, we see a lot of undue RAW shooting and further weird editing done with no taste or skill - or the opposite, computer fobia. Both ways are wrong. The best results can be achieved only when a photographer takes full control over all process - from subject choice to image final presentation.
Chris_L 5 5.3k United Kingdom
12 Apr 2015 12:06AM

Quote:I would love to get into photoshop as I'm sure it can improve the overall final result but is that missing the point?

What point is that? Is it the mistaken belief that you are breaking the 'rules' of photography by post-processing. As Mike says "photographic morality".

Perhaps you compare your shots to other images on this site and conclude others are often better. You might then think as other members have the same or lesser equipment it must be that the others are using Photoshop to get better results.

As you don't have Photoshop you then think It's not a level playing field.and ask are others missing the point.

Surely the point is to create great images?

If you feel not knowing Photoshop is holding you back, it's not. Not yet. There's room for improvement with your composition and exposure and it would pay you to get critique.




themak 6 1.0k Scotland
12 Apr 2015 12:50AM
The only point for me is to get as close as possible to the image I thought I took. It may be preferable to get everything perfect in camera but things happen....
Would you bin an otherwise great landscape shot because the horizon was squint on the basis of some purist ideal, or spend 10 seconds straightening it?
Paul Morgan 18 19.4k 6 England
12 Apr 2015 3:16AM

Quote:The only point for me is to get as close as possible to the image I thought I took. It may be preferable to get everything perfect in camera but things happen....
Would you bin an otherwise great landscape shot because the horizon was squint on the basis of some purist ideal, or spend 10 seconds straightening it?



Some things are best done in camera, others in software.

Often when you straighten using software you end up loosing parts of your image, its one of those things that are best corrected in camera.

Even the best of images can often be improved upon with a little dodging and burning just like the darkroom days, you can`t dodge and burn in camera.
IshanPathak 5 202 12 India
12 Apr 2015 5:08AM
I see no harm in Post Processing. The point is not to rely solely on it. I always fail, but i try to get the exposure,composition etc proper in the camera itself.

And to those who think PP is some sort of a crime...We were editing images in the darkroom and with bleached and other chemicals before photoshop. So I really do not buy this. Photography and art must move on, always be in a constant flux, else it will stagnate and die. I say bring on all the new technology.. letís have fun. Smile
cats_123 Plus
15 4.9k 29 Northern Ireland
12 Apr 2015 8:08AM
It may be worth looking at some of the basic Lightroom tutorials (am sure there are many photoshop ones too) to see what can be done before you invest.

I'm no expert (far from it),,,I have a basic understanding but have a very short concentration span, so all the technical stuff exposure, fstop, iso etc leaves me a little cold.

I shoot Raw. If I didn't, and shot jpeg, I wouldn't have much room for `improving' my final presentations. I use Lightroom 4. It's been a revelation for me....I know it can't retrieve a bad shot, but it can (and does) give me room to improve lighting, colour, exposure, sharpness etc without having to understand the how and why. I can also transform shots and give them a totally different feel (which would have had to have been done in a dark room).

I can preset default import settings which gives control over a whole batch of shots before I tinker with each individual frame. I can create `virtual' copes which I can play around with to get different effects...all of this without affecting the original (which can be retrieved with one click).

Only you can make the decision....there are usually trial versions available too Smile
chrisbryan 6 122 United Kingdom
12 Apr 2015 8:13AM
I don't think it is wrong to use processing in fact I would like to use it a little more. I am happy with what I do and as someone still learning I have had great and invaluable advice from the wonderful members here on this site.
I don't compare others shots to my own and never consider that it is not a level playing field, I just wonder sometimes if it is easy to rely on processing to turn the picture from good to outstanding.

Thanks to everyone for your views, it's nice to have a friendly and informed forum here.
hobbo Plus
8 1.3k 2 England
12 Apr 2015 8:19AM
Should you shoot totally in RAW, then post processing is essential for tonal adjustments and final sharpening, it just means that, instead of slavishly relying on the In-Camera automatic processing, you choose to do your own, using whatever software you prefer.

This debate will run and run, but I do know which I like doing better........

1: Doing my best to get it right in camera initially.

2: Using CS6 and TOPAZ filters to tease out the very best from what I've created.

3: Not just Taking a Photograph.....but.....Making a Photograph.

Ansel Adams and all of the other greats did it, in the Dark Room, during the developing and printing process.
Just do, what works best for you.

Hobbo
Photography is a 2 part process. The first photograph was taken in 1823, the first 'cheat' in editing about 2 years later. Many great photographers didin't even do their own darkroom processing and simply indicated on the contact sheer what they wanted done.

http://petapixel.com/2013/09/12/marked-photographs-show-iconic-prints-edited-darkroom
mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2096 United Kingdom
12 Apr 2015 8:35AM
Get it right in the camera - composition, straightness, depth of field, focus, exposure as near as possible... but that has always been just the first stage in the process. Every photograph needs to be developed, in one way or another. Hobbo mentions Ansel Adams - read up on his printing techniques and it will put today's digital processing in perspective! I saw the Tony Ray-Jones exhibition at the Science Museum last year, it included some of the elaborate cut-outs that he used for dodging and burning his 'spontaneous' street photography.
And yes, using Raw and processing it simply means that you take control of the processing that would otherwise be done automatically by the camera when it reduces the available data to a jpeg file.
arhb 12 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
12 Apr 2015 8:52AM

Quote:I just wonder sometimes if it is easy to rely on processing to turn the picture from good to outstanding.


Good processing is equally difficult as getting it right in camera.
12 Apr 2015 9:12AM
I think photography 'purists' may get a little snobby about using Post-processing software - yes, of course get the best shot you can in the first place , but there's also a skill in judging when a little 'tweaking' may help a composition for instance with a little cropping etc maybe. That to me isn't cheating because the motive isn't to deceive , it is an artistic decision, whether done in camera or not.
Then, there's a whole new creative field for the imagination to work on using various effects, changing backgrounds and colours etc - again, no 'cheating' involved here as it's pretty obvious when used. I must say I really admire the skill some photographers show as it can be pain-takingly laborious to get right, You need a pretty good grasp of your computer technology too - something I'm still trying to do. Eileen


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