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

hobbo Plus
8 1.3k 2 England
13 Apr 2015 5:11AM
It has just struck me, that.......Taking a good photograph then processing it to suit your creative ideas....is....

Very much like a composer ( as things develop) scribbles, then types out his tune or melody......in effect, his......RAW ....version.

Only when he/ she is happy with the work does he send it to a publisher....even then, after time, notes and passages may be altered by the composer, a conductor, or arranger.

Personaly in photography......I play all the right notes.........but not necessarily in the right order Wink
In the same way, most Artists develop ideas as sketches (Raws) from which to develop the final work/s


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llareggub 9 825 United Kingdom
13 Apr 2015 7:13AM
In terms of taking the picture and giving you the raw materials to create the image you had in mind then the camera/flash/filters are all equally important, to add that final 1% then post processing is most important... Pretty simple really!
hobbo Plus
8 1.3k 2 England
13 Apr 2015 7:29AM
Yes!.......that figures.

The human eye, can focus, adjust aperture and choose where to look for composition......but, it can't, Zoom, can't protect itself from Glare, and can't, itself create extra or directional light.....

By that reckoning, all but the most basic photography is artificial and concocted.....and not what we would naturally see.

So perhaps the purists should use the most basic of cameras??

alansnap 15 577 26 United Kingdom
13 Apr 2015 9:49AM
Fundamentally, the end justify the means. That will sound bad to many people, but photography has always been about creating an abstraction as has painting.

When we take an image we have a view in our head caused by the brain's ability to capture and interpret a scene. Our eyes dart about into the shadows and highlights and our brain then balances out the extremes. We can even dark adapt to see at night with minimal illumination - starlight or moonlight. When we take an image our aim will be to reproduce what we saw, or at the wackier end of photography, we can create pictures that never existed. Provided one doesn't try to pass those off as "reality," itself a subjective term, then all is fair in our art as in painting. Take Constable who happily removed trees that spoiled his composition. Is that no longer art? Of course it's still art and we get hung up on the fact that it's now possible to do what painters have always done. Forget it, enjoy the image.

Cameras are much less sophisticated than our brain. They capture what is in front of them within the limits of their ability to deal with contrast and detail. For general scenes this is adequate though we can adjust exposure for large areas of darkness or brightness. We use HDR in extreme cases, or we use something like the Zone system to expose the scene as we wish to see it. I do this in RAW. I know some people are content with jpeg, and best of luck to them.

To me the RAW file is the score and I use LR to do most of the playing. I have a couple of pre-set adjustments that I use for processing most of my images and apart from cropping and straightening I apply as light a touch as possible. That is my choice. The RAW file is flat and lacking in punch - it's designed to be. You have to process and when you process you're not necessarily altering reality, you're merely creating your own. We can, and I do alter reality, in LR, PS, Photomatix Pro and many other programmes, and the extent to which we alter things is a personal artistic decision. It's not right or wrong, unless you're trying to subvert the law, it is just the photographer as artist converting the raw materials into his or her vision.

To say that the RAW file is the score goes right to the point that has been made above many times. You need to have captured something that is the start of what you want to achieve. The capture technique of combining aperture, shutter speed, ISO and focal length of lens is critical. Composition is key to the message too. George Rodger famously said he was so concerned with composition in his Belsen photographs that he was insulated from the horror of what was in front of him. Lynsey Addario, similarly uses exquisite composition to convey simultaneously the horror of war and the beauty of the world. Cartier-Bresson looked at his proofs upside down and would only print those images where the composition worked to his satisfaction. Adams with is Zone system and excellent compositional skills was happy if he got one image a year, but each final print was heavily processed to achieve what he wanted.

So, to answer the question. The editing software isn't important, though the editing is, but without the shot (or shots) effectively composed and exposed you can't do anything.

Chris_L 5 5.3k United Kingdom
13 Apr 2015 11:14AM
There should be situations where it's wrong to use Photoshop but I'm not sure where you would draw the line. There are so many gray areas and I think that it would depend how the image was presented later on.

Models on the front of magazines who are in perfect shape with perfect skin but which, apparently, make some normal people feel ugly.

Are you misleading people when you increase the vibrancy of sandy beach and blue sea images for a holiday brochure?

Would you alter crime scene photos? How about product photography that makes a product look more impressive than it actually is, is that wrong? What about images that accompany serious news stories?

The way we shoot a scene can change the narrative quite a bit. With today's editing software we can totally change reality. I use Photoshop all the time, I try to use it wisely.
hobbo Plus
8 1.3k 2 England
13 Apr 2015 11:21AM
The only type of photography that should have only essential sharpening applied is serious Macro work.......the specialist sites make that part of their Criteria........colours, textures and tones should look as natural as nature intended.

lemmy 12 2.8k United Kingdom
13 Apr 2015 1:06PM

Quote:Lemmy, if post processing is so bad, why do we shoot RAW then?
I'm baffled! Here is a quote from my last post:
Quote:I don't care what anyone does PP to create an image if it furthers the photographer's intention
Here's a quote from my other post
Quote:If the object is to make a picture I don't think it really matters what you do.
I think you must have muddled me up with someone else. Or else you read my posts but have already decided what i will say. In which case, are you a politician, straycat? Grin
Actually, this reminds me of selling things on eBay when you put 'the lens dimensions are 2x5x16cm' and then you you get a query asking how big the lens is!
arhb 12 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
13 Apr 2015 3:49PM
@ Hobbo - I like the music composer analogy, because having done some at an amateur level, I have on occasion with both music and photography, reached a point where I've decided to stop at a finished piece, even though there are still creative possibilities that might or might not work.

Generally, from my own experience doing retouching and PP, like with photography, you continue to learn and refine what you do, so I can see how Rankin could see a whole bunch of PP work to do on the image that Jeff mentioned, that might be processes that to the average retouch enthusiast eye, would be unnoticeable.
chrisbryan 6 122 United Kingdom
13 Apr 2015 7:42PM
Phew, have come home from work and read through everything. Sorry, might have started something with this Blush

Having read through everyone's comments and seeing others perspectives on this I feel I have been educated by your thoughts. Thank you all so much for your opinions and points of view. I will think about things differently from now on and embrace PP for the right reasons.
Chris_L 5 5.3k United Kingdom
13 Apr 2015 9:55PM
Chris, Miikehit posted a link to a tutorial earlier. Have a quick look here
https://youtu.be/LypUUCT7XFQ?t=74 s

Starting at around 1 min 15 (link should go to that time automatically) you will hear why we post-process when the guy describes the forest he's just taken the photos in. You only need to watch about ten seconds.
StrayCat 15 19.1k 3 Canada
14 Apr 2015 5:40AM
Sorry Lemmy, I got the impression from your earlier posts that you don't like the PP that's being done today. I'm far from being a politician, will never happen.Tongue I must have read your comments with a Canadian accent.Wink
Evertonian 6 729 England
14 Apr 2015 9:39AM
Unless you are shooting in RAW, not processing your pictures personally, does not mean to say that they haven't been processed by some other means.
Shooting .jpeg, ensures that your camera performs processing for you. So nothing except RAW is straight photography.

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