Post Process versus Shooting

I presume that my post process is the same as that of most other photographers. The foundation for adjustments is in a RAW Converter (lens correction, brightness and basic contrast, white balance and basic noise reduction). Main adjustments in Photoshop (I use non-destructive luminosity mask techniques) and final focus according to the purpose follow.

Far more fundamental than tools for the post process, however, is the continuation of the creative process, which began outdoors while taking photos. As I take photos I take notes. Most recently I have been mostly dictating into a recorder. As soon as I sit down at my computer, I first write a caption for a photo – why I took that photo, what the hidden story is and how I achieved the selected composition in the post process. It is interesting how differently a visual image and text work. Only then do I start making adjustments.

There is an abundance of powerful tools available today. That is why it is important to exercise some restraint and proceed by editing in small steps. In this regard I was very much helped by Digital Fine Art Process from Caponigro and Holborn as well as Tony Kuyper’s luminosity mask tools, including the fine tutorials of Sean Backshaw. My approach to photography with the mastered tools is still shifting. This is also reflected in the literature I pursue – it is much less about techniques and more about how others think about the landscape and what is important for them.

The post process is the completion of the intention with which a photo was taken: highlighting, finishing, corroborating and simplifying. Nothing more, but at the same time nothing less.

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