Daily Photo Challenge Week 2 – Post Processing Whore

The end of week 2 of this challenge is upon me and it has made me think about the difference between photography and digital art. In an attempt to improve my hobby I subscribe to lots of photography forums and by far my favorite is ‘digital photography school’. Loads of great articles, challenges, information and advice head towards my inbox on almost a daily basis heads and I spend inordinate amounts of time pouring over it all.

I recently read a really interesting article on there called ‘How post processing helped me become a better photographer’. I really enjoyed reading it and particularly reading the comments that had been left. I have to agree though, it has definitely helped me. There are a lot of purists out there who think that a photograph must be untouched to earn you the coveted title of ‘photographer’. I wont argue or disagree with them on that if that is what touches them about photography. I am not about to disagree with anybody about what is in their own heart in the same way that they might also realise that there are many different genres out there when it comes to photography.

As I have been learning more about this subject and delving into tutorials by some of the best photographers in the world who have kindly put themselves on camera for our benefit, what I do know is that most of them edit some if not all of their photographs. Even if it is just as simple as altering the curves slightly, playing with the highlights and shadows to bring out the detail of what they actually saw or bracketing/ tone mapping to get to the end result. You could go as far as to say when a photographer puts a filter on the end of their lens they are already ‘editing’ their photograph. Let’s face it, It is no different to what was happening in the dark room all those years back, technology has moved on is all.

Personally I think ‘each to their own’ with this because as well as loving a clever or beautiful unedited shot I am hugely into digital art within photography. I like to pull a photograph I have taken into Photoshop and then I like to play with the curves, dodge, tones, colours, filters, add bokeh and anything else I see fit. I might decide if I have bracketed the shot to mess about with a HDR version of it but basically I just play about until I feel as if I have put my own impression onto it.

In fact I will go as far as to say that I enjoy that process as much as I enjoy having my camera in my hand and getting a good shot in the first place. Sometimes I don’t do that at all, sometimes I leave the shot as nature intended but depending on the subject matter itself there are times when I really need to stamp my own creative expression or emotion onto it and make it mine. It is more of an art form to me than simply a photograph. This could well just be a phase I am going through as I am learning more techniques and I may well end up doing this less and less as time goes by but let me tell you, editing in Photoshop is not a piece of cake, getting that right can take some doing and I am still very much learning the basics of that as well.

The other thing that processing has taught me is what I might have missed when I was taking the photograph and it has prompted me to get back out there with my camera and try certain shots again with different light, using different settings and with a different perspective in mind, so it has helped me to shoot things that I don’t want to edit at all.

I am a self-confessed processing whore and I love it. That does not detract from the fact that I am still passionately learning how to use my camera properly and I am still slowly moving towards getting to get to the point that when I take a photograph I understand the lighting, consider the settings, create the mood and the atmosphere as a matter of course behind my camera.

Will I ever entirely walk away from processing my shots. No, in certain shots I don’t think I will thank you very much.

http://digital-photography-school.com/how-post-processing-helped-me-become-a-better-photographer

So below are this weeks photographs, some of them edited from my heart some of them not edited at all and above is a link to the article I referenced earlier.

There is a good reason that I edited this shot. There was a (and there is no nice way of saying this) and very, very large lady with shopping bags in the background. I see no point in trashing a perfectly lovely shot of my son because of a displeasing background.

Mummy, please do not interrupt me when I am busily playing with bubble wrap.

Just some bubbles and a bit of Bokeh. Why not?

Just getting ready for my other half coming to see me. We live about 60 miles apart so it is lovely when we get to spend some time together.

Taken on my walk down the prom this week. This version is unedited but I do also have an edited version on Flickr because I just like to play.

This was a shot of a pathway leading into the sea. I wanted to try something different with this shot so I lay down with the camera and shot from the floor which has given it a really unearthly feel. There is very little editing on this shot, all that I have done on this is tweaked the curves a tiny bit and added a gradual filter to make the sky a bit more interesting. I will probably do some edited versions of this at some point because I would be really interested to see what I can do with it.

 

A piece of artwork that I took a photograph of. The artwork was produced by my very talented niece for a CD cover. Obviously I did not edit this.

That’s all for this week. If anyone could suggest something I could photograph next week I would be happy to give it a go as I am running out of things to try particularly on a rainy day!

If you want to view some beyond breath taking photography then you might want to check out a chap called Patrick Latter. He is currently one of my favorite photographers. He just produces visually amazing shots and also mind blowing creative art. Be warned, get a cuppa and have a sit down because you are going to want to take the time to view his wonderful photographs. Below is a link to his facebook page and blog.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Patrick-Latter-Photography/423060187729312

http://hikingphoto.com/

Also if you want some more visual delights check out http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuphipps/ a superb photographer and a very good friend of mine who not only helps and encourages me all the time he also takes just wonderful photographs.

Peace and love to you all and thank you for reading my little blog.

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