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Old Feb 16, 2006, 10:29 PM   #11
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I post process all of my images. The get the best dynamic range and least artifacts I shoot with minimum sharpening and contrast. The resulting images don't have a lot of punch. To make them better I have an action set up in Photoshop that applies PTLens, defogging, auto-contrast, sharpening and a saturation tweak. I also keep the originals for advanced post processing for the images I really like.

Even if you set everything up to your liking and don't worry about getting that last tweak of dynamic range and artifacts, images from small sensors usually benefit a little from some additional processing. But many people seem quite happy with them as they come from the camera.

DSLR images are somewhat different. In the hands of a competent photographer you can get a lot closer to ideal images right from the camera. I would suspect that quite a few of the DSLR images you see are post processed though. If nothing else a good photographer probably uses raw for their work, and that always requires a trip through software.

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Old Feb 18, 2006, 12:07 AM   #12
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jasonb wrote:
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?
The answers depend on what you want/need from your photos, and how you intend to present them.

Pictures which are to be viewed on computer screens present differently than prints, and this can be a real source of frustration until you get it all sorted out.

Landscape photos tend to need more resolution for a given image size than most other kinds of photographs. Dynamic range is also often greater than cameras, monitors, and printers can reproduce. To get all the resolution and range from your camera, you need to shoot RAW. RAW converters' default settings often give so-so results, so a certain amount of processing is required.

By 'Photoshop', I take it you mean the full CS version. No, it isn't necessary. In many cases, very high quality phots can be made straight from camera. Photo editors exist because darn few of us are perfect, and we sometimes need to 'fix up' a picture after it has been taken, especially if there is no opportunity to reshoot it. A goodly number of us, after tweaking some less-than-perfect pictures, get hooked on the process, though, and find it quite enjoyable in tiself.

Alternatives to Photoshop abound, and many are easier to learn, as well as being less costly. Some are free, and quite powerful.

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Old Feb 18, 2006, 7:13 AM   #13
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For stuff I send to the newspaper, I might crop it lightly and that's about all.

The newspaper then recrops the image to meet their column / layout requirements.

So I generally shoot a little wide to give the layout person lots of leeway.

They seem to make better crop selections than I, but that's because they are cropping other people's work all day, and their really good at it.

Printed at 200 DPI in black and white, the adjustments don't make much of a difference.

Sometimes I try to goose up the contrast, but the contrast seems to be more dependant on newsprinting job than my adjustments.

If I have a really nice shot that I may want to print as an 8x10, then I'll spend the time to do extra post processing work.

-- Terry
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Old Feb 18, 2006, 8:07 AM   #14
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You are lucky Terry. I edit a monthly newsletter and although the pictures come out high quality there isn't any adjustment made by the printer. I convert everything to B&W and have learned what level of contrast comes out looking best. But if I just plug in an unaltered color photo it usually comes out poor.
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Old Feb 18, 2006, 9:42 AM   #15
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Oh, I'd like to know the adjustments your making for black and white.

Anything to improve the results would be helpful.

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