Saturday, June 19, 2010


Or why snapshots look all snap-shotty.

There are lots of things that the pros do AFTER they press the shutter. The list of things the pros do to their image, which wasn't badly exposed in the first place, goes something like this:

White balance. If shot in RAW, the white balance can and should be tweaked. Auto white balance is not the ideal.

Exposure. But it wasn't badly exposed! The pros are fine tuning things like fill and recovery, to get the exposure at the extremes to be better.

Color. Is the sky a sky blue or an overcast gray? Are the skin tones human?

Lens corrections. Even spending big bucks for a lens does not mean that you won't have pincushion, barrel, or perspective distortions.

Sharpen. To recover the edges that have been mucked up by anti-aliasing. The more I know about anti-alias, the less I like it.

Contrast. Because thin is not a good thing. And often, contrast gets adjusted again after a different adjustment is made.

Remove things. Not 'Photoshopping' out that extra person, but removing things like noise adjustments that aren't needed or wanted. Did the camera adjust the vibrance? It's gotta go.

It goes without saying, but I am saying it anyway, all these edits are done to a COPY of the original image. And the list can and will change for each photographer. It depends on the order in which they like to work, the type of photos they are taking, and if they are producing hundreds, like a wedding photographer, or a handful, like a landscape photographer.

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