Sunday, March 7, 2010

What it means to Post Process

One of my photography teachers stressed that fact that editing is going through the images you have taken and deciding which ones go straight to the trash and which ones you keep. Just like in editing live film. Once you have gone through and edited your images then you start "post production". This is when you make actual changes to the image, enhance color, remove color whatever you decide. I love this part. A lot of big time photographers will out process the initial part of this process (the color and white balance correcting etc.) The thought of having to do this makes me giddy because it means you are so busy with shoots that you just don't have time to do this, how cool would that be. Then when the images come back nice and clean they do artistic touches. This generally means photoshop actions and textures. Before I bought photoshop I always wondered how in the world photographers got certain looks to their pictures. Welp its totally from photoshop and the actions. I thought it might be interesting to show you (my none existent reader) what can happen to a photo. This is Sammy my oldest. I actually didn't take this photo it is from our family session but my friend who took it was kind enough to give me the RAW images to do with what I may. I chose this one though because I was playing around with it last night when I got the idea for this post. Plus I like funkier pictures which I know are an acquired taste.
On the right you have the original image as it looked after I sent it through Adobe bridge, lightening it up, adding a little saturation then opening it up in photoshop, running a clarity action and lightening up Sams face. I added saturation of color just to his tie and his jeans because I planned on desaturating the entire image eventually and didn't want those parts to totally disappear. I then ran a desaturating action, another clarity action (which I then erased everywhere but on Sam). I ended by adding a texture file, and reducing the opacity dramatically and erasing it completely on Sam's hands and face. So there you go. While I know the general audience would prefer the only slightly touched up version I think it is fun to get a little crazy every now and then and thats how you do it ;)


  1. When did I become non-existant? :-)
    You need to move back so you can show me this. All I read was, lalalala, lighten, sldkfjksld, saturation, sldkfjsklaskdjf, whaala!

  2. I love before and after pics!! It looks great.