Sinny Sin Sins

10 Deadly Post Processing Sins at DPS

Somebody tweeted this. I appreciated the read since I’ve had my own random blog musings about things in photography lately.

Everybody has their do’s and do not’s.  And when people share them, it gives yah something to think about.

And of course I feel compelled to share my thoughts on this article.

Author’s point #1

I totally disagree.  There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be able to master your technique with the camera and have adequate knowledge of Photoshop.  There is no reason you shouldn’t learn both, and at the same time if the photography gods so demand it to be.  Some people have issues with Photoshop because some people take it too far.  Understandable.  But before people go bashing Photoshop or any other image editing program, they must stop and ask themselves… what happened to the darkroom?  Oh yeah!  We don’t use that anymore with digital!  Well guess what happened to the darkroom?  It too was digitized.  And it is now known as Photoshop.

I did REAL darkroom stuff in high school.  My university actually still requires you to learn some real chemical and papers darkroom knowledge in the photography program.  Actually I think all the fine arts majors are require to learn it.  I actually really treasure that I have already had a lot of time spent in an actual darkroom, that I have worked with real film, real papers, enlargers,  and mixed up chemicals and watched a picture that I took develop start to finish out of a blank paper.  It is a beautiful experience.

But the digital darkroom can offer a similar experience for digital photographers.  It is where another batch of creativity takes place.  In the real darkroom there was a multitude of different things you could do to tweak your image.  Not much different than Photoshop, just a lot more manual work than mouse clicking.  There’s an argument down the page of the article that today’s dSLR cameras almost contain a darkroom within them since you can tweak so many things within the array of menus.  True enough and you SHOULD know your options and menus and what they do.  And you SHOULD know how to take a perfectly great image without ever “setting foot” inside the digital darkroom.  But there is nothing to fear with technology.  If you’re a film purist, fine.  But don’t be afraid to go along for the technology ride when it comes to digital photography.  That can be part of the fun if you ask me.  Also if you ask me, you SHOULD be able to comfortably navigate your way around the digital darkroom if you absolutely have to.  I see it as part of the game these days.

Author’s Point #2

I absolutely love the quote, “My goal for my work is timelessness.”  That’s a beautiful goal if you ask me.  And I do agree that the current post processing fads will look dated (similar to how I feel about certain poses, etc as well).  I’m not against current post processing trends at all, but my thoughts are, if you do it… also make a copy of the image that doesn’t contain them.  Have a current trendy copy and have that timeless copy.

Author’s Point #3

I agree so so much!  I recently ran across a photography blog and all the eyes in the most recent batches of pics had this creepy CGI quality to them totally detracting from the otherwise beautiful image.  It was just like ohhh somebody learned about dodging and burning and whatever other techniques these days are giving that creepy glare to eyes.  I especially hate it when people do it to babies/kids because most kids naturally have these huge crystal clear eyes.  To take that and then molest it in Photoshop is just a sin.

Author’s Point #4

Again I generally agree.  And I had to learn this one the hard way but thankfully I did it to mostly to pictures of myself haha.  I still have to watch myself when it comes to others’ pics b/c I can tend to get carried away in removing marks, blemishes, moles and scares… forgetting that those things are what make that person an individual.  I don’t want to offend anybody, so I try to be more careful about it unless like the author says, they ask for it.  I generally won’t think twice about removing a zit though.

The plastic skin look though?  BAD BAD BAD.  Especially if you’re doing it with Gaussian blur.  When I see this now I instantly want to go to the photographer’s work space and remove Photoshop off of their computers.

The more I’ve photographed people the more I’ve found myself falling in love with the naturalness of skin, wrinkles, imperfections.  They can create so much character.

Author Point #5

I’ll pretty much go along with this because I do not care much for vignetting.  The only time I really go along with it is when due to lighting it has shown up naturally in a shot.  I’ve never felt much compelled to add it to anything.

Author Point #6

I would actually have liked to see the author’s opinion of what constituted over saturation because it can very from person to person.  Oversaturation as in brighter colors?  Or blowing out things with brightness and contrast?  I’ve seen both referred to as over saturation.  Colorwise, it is going to depend on your artist.  Some people’s style is naturally brighter, more saturated in color while I see others doing a style of more muted, etc.

Author Point #7

I am not devoting anymore time to this topic lol

Author Point #8

Can’t really argue with that.  People need a certain amount of naturalness to their skintone.

Author Point #9

Honestly, I don’t see people abusing sun flare that much anymore.  Mostly just newbies who open up Photoshop for the first time.  Although I have seen it inserted in random wedding shots sometimes.  I don’t see the point of adding in something you generally want to avoid when taking the pic anyways.  Leave the sun flare deal to the graphic artists.

Author Point #10

I probably wouldn’t have included this at all just because, the photographers I know who do texture amazingly well are a whole other animal.  Their work is more of a mixed medium format.  It’s passes more into a slightly different art realm.  They are doing something different than just throwing texture on a photograph.

More things in the comments I wanted to point out:

Somebody mentioned people post processing the crap out of pictures of babies.  I love you stranger!  I’ve been seeing this and it is just like whhhhyyyyy?  It is painful to look at for some reason.  Maybe because for me, I see babies and children as generally photogenically perfect.  And I love taking pics of them b/c woooo less post processing time! lol

A lot of mentioning in the comments of HDR.  Honestly, I would love to do just one HDR pic to do it in the spirit of fun, but the overall style doesn’t appeal to me at all, it looks unreal and takes the emotion out of the picture for me.  It didn’t take long after HDR started making an appearance that people started hopping on board and clinging to it because it was different and dramatic.  And now in a short amount of time it has already  become a cliche.  If you thought the selective coloring groups on Flickr were bad, take a look at the HDR groups.  So much HDR stuff looks ridiculous to me.  For everyone 1 brilliant HDR there are 500 cringe worthy ones. And the style already looks painfully dated.


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