On one hand, I love the ability to turn any photograph into something new. Yes, yes, “do it right in-camera,” I know. But sometimes I can’t, so why not use Photoshop to recreate my memory of the scene.
On the other hand, in the three years since I started learning how to paint with pixels, I rarely upload a photo to this Web site without some form of digital editing. In my opinion, postprocessing makes the image “better,” but does it need to be better?
. . .
To Dark? Time to Post Process!
Recently, I was editing the below photograph of a pair of Indian men having a 7:30am picnic under a dirty bridge and next to busy train tracks.
Shot from the window of my passing train, my manual settings were perfect for the sunny morning I was shooting moments before: not for the dark underpass.
So, into Photoshop it went… Brighten that wall. Draw the eye to the men eating.
A little vignette here, some dodging and burning there, and voila! Darkness became light and I had recreated the scene the way my mind remembered it..
Postprocessing for the Sake of Postprocessing?
Proud of my work, I showed the image to my wife Carrie, who also liked what she saw. However, when I showed her the original underexposed version, she surprised me by saying that she liked that better.
Mine was too cheery, whereas the original was dark, dirty, and grimy. By brightening the scene, even though my postprocessed version was closer to how it really appeared, I completely changed the mood.
I’m not a photojournalist. I’m a digital photographic artist
My goal with any photograph is to reimagine my memory of the scene. Travel photography usually affords me one brief chance to capture a moment: regardless of camera settings or outside conditions. That’s why I love having the ability to take the image into my digital darkroom later.
But I was curious, so I went ahead and created this third version of the image, which is somewhere in the middle of the original and my “bright cheery” one.
. . . . . . .
What do you think? Should I have left the image alone?
Which one do YOU like better?
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