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Old Feb 16, 2006, 6:48 PM   #1
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I'm anewb with a strong desire to learn and dive into photography for recreational/hobby purposes.

My biggest question at this point is how much of the photo's that are featured on this site, photo.net and many others are significantly altered than what was originally shot? Specifically I'm talking about landscape photos. I realize that every photo is different and what was done in post-processing varies wildly but I'm asking more in generalities.

I know very little about Photoshop and the prospect of learning it is frankly, somewhat daunting to me. Is a knowledge of Photoshop a necessity to create exceptional photographs?
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 6:54 PM   #2
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Photoshop you say. I'd guess 99% of all the pictures see on-line have never been retouched. Do you want to buy a bridge?
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 7:04 PM   #3
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Depends on who's doing the shooting. I try to do as much in-camera as I possibly can because I hate any time wasted on editing. I do know Photoshop pretty well though, so it isn't to big a deal for me to do whatever I want (although I mainly shoot people, so my editing is pretty much limited to removing blemishes).

If you want an easier learning curve than Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro is about 1/8th the price & will do just about anything Photoshop can (I've also heard great things about their latest version too).
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 7:25 PM   #4
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I would guess thatvery few photos have not been through a photo editor before printing or putting on the web. Cropping probably being the most common, followed by things like saturation, contrast, brightness, sharpening, ...

Ansel Adams, who was trained as a pianist, likened the negative tothe score and the printto the performance. I think the same applies to digital.

Unlike chemical photography, you have to do your own "darkroom" work with a photo editor.The editordoes not have to be Photoshop. As Kalypso noted, it is well worth the effort to get the camera settings as good as possible, and not just because of lazyness. So to start with, learn how to use your new digicam to get the best results possible. When you learn those limitations, and still want to improve your photos, learn how to use a good photo editor. Until then, don't worry about it.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 7:57 PM   #5
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I agree with Bill.

I also like the following two Ansel Adams quotes which many purists do not agree with: "You don't take a photograph, you make it." and "Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships."

PhotoShop is so much easier than the darkroom!
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 8:22 PM   #6
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Im glad i started with a low end digital camera first because it kinda forced me to learn to edit. I learn to use crop very early as everyone was pointing out my dirty socks under my bed and everything else other then what i wanted them to see. It took me a while to figure out how to advanced edit and i still dont know how to do everything with it. There are tutorials that show you how to do things step by step. I learned how to do stuff using those too. You can search and find alot of directions when your ready.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 9:32 PM   #7
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Also, lets not forget that the camera does not see like the human eye.
You can say way more gradations of light than the camera can... therefor if you want a picture that "looks like you saw it" then you'll almost certainly have to do some post-processing.

How much you're willing to do will just make you a better photographer! (well, that is one way to look at it.)

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Old Feb 16, 2006, 9:43 PM   #8
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I started out doing a lot of editing, but now I do much less. Sometimes I see something I want to tweak a little (like darken or blur a background object), but mostly I just make a quick color/contrast/levels adjustment (resize for web) and apply sharpening. My photos would hold up fairly well if I did NOT do this, usually, but it bridges the last gap to make a very bright crisp photo that pops.

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Old Feb 16, 2006, 9:44 PM   #9
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I don't know that i've ever taken an image that didn't get some post processing. That being said, I think too many people rely on cropping and cloning to fix composition and backgrounds. I think its extremely important to get composition right to start with...whenever you crop you are throwing away data and limit the potential size of your prints.

Also, exposure is very important (duh!!). I'm not a big fan of purposely underexposing to reduce blown highlights, as when you brighten the picture up, noise is introduced. I agree that underexposure is better than overexposing (its easier to recover detail in shadows than in highlights), but don't use editors as a crutch. That being said, if your camera can shoot raw, you have much more latitude in exposure.
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Old Feb 16, 2006, 10:01 PM   #10
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straight fromcamera (fuji finepix s7000) except for crop and resize for web:

Last edited by bernabeu; Jun 27, 2015 at 4:24 PM.
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