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Old 02-15-2007, 05:54 AM   #5
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Posts: 3,704

Originally Posted by Mike B.
I've only been using my dSLR for a month and I haven't really done any type of processing. All I do is convert and resize the photo and maybe do a slight crop. I don't do any type of sharpening or adjustment of the exposure.

Am I missing out on a lot of quality by not editing my photos?
Most likely, the answer is a big YES.
I tend to edit or process anything short of a grab shot.

Keep in mind, your camera may be "processing" your images for you. Certain cameras have adjustable settings allowing you to specify whether the image remains flat (unmodified) or in some cases, allow you to boost the saturation (color (extra color)), increase the sharpness (the effect of sharpness), and in most cases adjust the color temperature (depending on what type lighting you are shooting under). Of course choosing a lower ISO setting will yield less grain. Other settings allow you to shoot in B&W or Sepia.

I shoot completely flat - unmodified and in RAW (most of the time). This gives you the most control on the final outcome, however, editing photos can be quite time consuming so choose as your needs desire.

Typical post processing routines - routinely discussed here and via a quick search on GOOGLE include the following:
Sharpening /unsharpening (which is another form of image sharpening).
Contrast adjustments (loose that hazy look and increase the contrast and brightness).
Levels and Curves
And lastly, a bag of tricks which can be used legitimately such as dodge (lightening certain areas of a photo) and burn (darkening certain areas of a photo) and, regarding RP, illegitimately - manipulations (removing poles and such) basically altering an image so that it no longer represents what you really saw.

Editing is all part of the picture (pun intended). Before digital, film was edited and manipulated as well, usually chemically or perhaps variances in process timing. Some photos are even enhanced with airbrush.

Look at your photo - if it's not as you saw it, or in certain cases, if it is not the finished product you are looking for, then it's time to begin the editing process. Much easier now in the digital realm.

At the very least, I would suggest experimenting with sharpening filters and contrast /brightness controls.

Stop, look and comment!
Click Here to take a look at my photos on RP.
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