Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Messing Around With Post Processing

One thing I don't do much of but I think I should do more of is post-processing.  There are a few schools of thought on this.  There is one school of thought that says that you should have the perfect picture in the camera and shouldn't do any post-processing.  There is another school of thought that says you should strive for the perfect shot in the camera but try to improve it in post-processing.  Then there is the school that almost always post-processes and finally there is the school that will take a normal picture and turn it into something completely abstract.

I'm not a big fan of absolutes, so I guess I would fall in the middle of the spectrum spelled out up there.  Quite a few years ago, Ansel Adams wrote a series of books about photography.  One was called the Camera, the other was called the Negative and the third was called the Print.  Even though those terms refer to the film world, I still think they would apply to the digital world.  The Camera remains the Camera.  The negative would be the image as taken on that camera.  The Print would be what you do in post processing. 

But anyway, I think the reason that he wrote the books that way is because the three things are elements in the process.  Sure, you can aim for a good picture in the camera and in all honesty you should because there is only so much you can do in post processing with a bad image.  In this case, I'm referring to an image that is badly out of focus, blurry or way under or over exposed.  The chances of this happening with a modern camera are rare but it still happens.  But if you take a mediocre or decent image in a camera, you can do stuff in post-processing.  In fact, there is still a theory that some of Ansel Adams more famous pictures were modified in the dark room (The Moon at Half Dome comes to mind).

Like  I said, you should strive to take a good picture from the get go but don't fret if you don't.  There are ways around that.
Now, take this image.  I think it is an okay image.  Mostly acceptable.  The one thing I don't like about it is that there is too much going on outside of the runner although all those elements are related.
So I cropped the picture to put the focus on the runner and the couple of Toledo players that were chasing him.  I was about to cut out the Toledo players but I liked the look on 11's face.  He looks almost tired and ready to stop the chase.
With my lens fogging up, I thought the picture looked moody, so I decided to redo it in black and white and upped the contrast a bit.

So what do you think?  Which of the above pictures do you like the best?  Please leave a comment.

Thank you.


Isaac Pennock said...

I like the second one

Christopher List said...

I like the crop on the 2nd image. I don't like the 3rd image. Its too dark. But then, I think the EMU player's face is too dark in the original. There's not enough detail there. Maybe lighten it a bit.

cmadler said...

I think I might do a wider crop, framing Hill with the pursuing Toledo players on each side. Something like this.