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cakencameracakencamera Member
edited November 2013 in home
How far do we edit our images? I've recently joined a Facebook group focused on Photoshop (pun intended) and although its really interesting I notice ALOT are taking a really bad photo and turning it into a REALLY good photo, replacing sky, changing colour, removing whatever. I'm no purist by any means, but how do we know when to stop? I actually think it becomes slightly addictive enhancing a photo to make it better. I know for a fact that when I get back from going out tonight (going to take some photos of the coca cola truck) I'll be uploading them into lightroom, then perhaps running them through Photoshop, De noise, sharpen, enhance, adjust, colour correct etc etc.


  • TrevTrev Moderator

    I'd like to see some shots.

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I think that in a sense I am mildly a purist here - I want to see the photograph, not digital artwork.
    So my work doesn't see that much time in Photoshop.

    So back to the question - where does one stop?
    I don't know that there is a specific answer there … for me, perhaps when the time spent in Photoshop cuts into my time I should be doing other stuff - watching a movie; taking photos; doing other work; promoting and improving my business.
  • If you are talking about photos -- rather than say composites or artwork that began as photos -- I think the time to stop is when you're satisfied with it and before the Photoshop work becomes evident. For me, if you can tell it's been Photoshopped it's trash. That is of course unless you want the PS work to be seen. The better a photo is in the first place the less PS work it will need -- obviously. For me, less is better. I tweak exposure, color, saturation, contrast and if it's a portrait I usually apply Portraiture software depending on subject's age. That's it.
  • Yep, I know exactly what your taking about.
    Where I come from, real estate agents are using photographers who then send their images overseas to graphic designers who then completely manipulate the photographs. Sky, colors etc etc.
    Yes, they look great, but FAKE. Just like a blonde with a new set of silicon bolt on's.
  • cakencameracakencamera Member
    edited November 2013
    The thing is, without seeing the photo before its had Photoshop work done to it we are none the wiser and if its good work wouldn't know. With wedding photography say, we make the brides skin flawless, her eyes brighter, her smile brighter, remove spots, its fake but it makes her look great and she loves it. We show future brides the retouched images and they think wow yes they're awesome I want you as my photographer, then we know that we will need to retouch her photographs after her wedding and so on and so on. Maybe I'm beginning to doubt myself as a photographer and thinking of myself as more of a manipulator. A couple of days ago I took some photo's of my daughter in laws bump, and to be honest with myself they were quite bad, lighting wise and pose wise, but with the power of Photoshop I turned some bad photos into some half decent ones. What I don't do is replace sky's and use composites in my wedding photography, so not all bad I guess.
  • Cakencamera

    I hear what your saying and have read your last comment, however without you posting an image it's hard to tell what you mean by "bad". Together with this, the settings you used etc. It may be an exposure issue your suffering from, and like I said, it's hard to comment without seeing an image FIRST. Pop a few on, without the work done via PS.
    My experience as mentioned as speaking with photographers who personally do real estate stuff, they bracket their shots, and send them off to graphic artists. I even had another photographer ask me why I don't bracket, use a tripod etc.
    My reply was, "because I know what to expose for, and don't need to $&@k around like you guys do".
    I also shoot in RAW, which has by far a greater range of manipulation if required.
    Hope this helps.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    On a side-note, I used to edit images before showing boudoir clients - and the response would invariably be that they love it, but could I please retouch the images. So it was awkward to tell them that the images have indeed already been retouched!
  • Before if its not obvious is on the top or left. Lightroom adjustments and run through NIK color effex or silver efex.
    What's obvious is the fact my lighting is pretty awful.
  • Cakencamera

    The very first shot in colour, in my opinion is under exposed, considerably.
    What were your settings, did you use any form of lighting or only ambient exposure.
    If it is ambient, what did you meter for. IE, the white shirt, skin tone ???
    The same aplies also for the colour shot with little shoes on the subjects tummy.

  • They were very under exposed as my flash didn't fire Angelo. But managed to rescue them with lightroom.
  • Cakencamera

    Now knowing that the flash didn't fire on the underexposed, shots, explains everything.
    I couldnt see anything in your first 2 posts indicating the same.
    There's only so much PS you can do to an under exp shot to begin with.
    Perhaps if it was shot in RAW then more could of been rescued from it.
  • Angelo69Angelo69 Member
    edited December 2013
    Oh, OK, thanks.
    I didn't see anywhere in your original posts that the pixs were in fact shot in RAW, as you only stated: "What's obvious is the fact my lighting is pretty awful. "

    Now knowing all the facts, I see why the pix was so dark, together with what was rescued from the original pix which resulted in the final image.


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