Post-Processing Tastes Change Over Time...

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by JStheoriginal, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. JStheoriginal

    JStheoriginal Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    Don't you just love looking back at old processed photos and thinking: "Wow that looks like crap...what was I thinking?!" And you knew you lived the way it looked back when you originally processed it.

    Is it that we get better or that our tastes have changed? Or a bit of both?

    Sometimes I even find it's like that after a short period of time has passed, as well!
  2. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    i get locked into crazes
    way too much vingette
    way too much blur
    way too much contrast
    way too much tilt
    way too much whatever... but at the time, i LUUUUURVEEEEET!
  3. JStheoriginal

    JStheoriginal Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
  4. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    I don't pp my s$&@s tight straight out of the camera ;)
  5. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Kelly just Reprograms the camera with presets... Lol
  6. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Justin I would be worried if it does not happen to me, this is a sign that you progress in your capabilities.
  7. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Ya know that might be a good thing, keeping your images looking fresh. You don't want the same look over and over.
  8. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    This is a good point. Hell, the stuff that I worked on last week often looks like s#!+ to me.
  9. PhotoPier

    PhotoPier Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 29, 2013
    Quebec City, Canada
    Yes, I do change a lot with all these years going beyond me and all my post processing trying Photoshop elements, Lightroom, Perfect photo suite, PhotoKey 5, Photomatix Pro and so on... So much attempt and doubt and... but that's fun and the name of the game fort me. I love post processing as a natural suite to a shooting. Well that'a me.
  10. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I haven't really found this to be true of my stuff. Sure as I have gotten better I see things in old pics that I could have done better but I don't hate them. I have however thought something might look good done a certain way but once finished I hated it.
  11. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    I have to add vignette, blur, contrast, tilt, cowbell, oh ya and if its not b&w, I must ruin the white balance. Always remember to go heavy on the hot sauce as well my friends to add some kick,
  12. Basically I rarely now do any "destructive" edits like film filters, adding grain, adding vignettes, compressing dynamic range, etc.

    When I find older images where I think that the processing was over the top or just not up to standard, I re-edit 'em.
  13. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 31, 2010
    Haha, well, I should list my post-processing workflow. Of course, I shoot almost strictly for fashion and commercial:

    1) White balance and some exposure balance/correction in Lightroom
    2) Over to Photoshop
    3) Compositing and some stamping for distracting background elements as needed
    4) Liquify on model as needed
    5) Portraiture plugin for skin retouching: I use it on the highs, midtones, and shadows, and extract each one to its own transparency layer
    6) Frequency separation on hair using Oil Paint filter on low frequency to take care of frizzy hair (Tutorial here)
    7) Frequency separation on everything for more advanced retouching (Tutorial here)
    8) Dodge & burn on soft-light blend layer with 50% grey for adding highlights and shadows (light carving/light sculpting)
    9) A series of layer adjustments for broader color correction
    10) A black & white layer adjustment at 15-30% opacity and set to overlay for an added punch and look that I usually have in my images
    11) Smart Sharpen for sharpening

    The result looks a bit like this:

  14. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    For me the change is in technology and what is available to use for post processing (but there is always learning going on in all areas). I always keep a lot of old images and frequently go back and fiddle with them after getting new pp tools.

  15. phl0wtography

    phl0wtography Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 15, 2011
    ...and that's exactly the reason why shooting RAW is so important. Who knows what fancy algorithms PP software comes up with, which may allow you to rescue what today may look like a ruined shot.

    That said, I re-visit older digital negatives quite often to apply newly found knowledge, like more sophisticated sharpening, or to get rid of over the top post-processing. The latter almost always was the result of not having a visualization in mind, and just go nuts in PP to come up with a picture just for the sake of the picture itself. Since I shoot digital nowadays more consciously, much like film, I usually know exactly what my exposure shoot look like in the end, which makes PP more straightforward, rather than trial and error.
    However, I was never a fan of presets or clicked through them just to see what a picture may look like. That's too random in my opinion, and again ends with a picture for the picture itself without depth or meaning.
  16. luguidomanski

    luguidomanski Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 11, 2010
    Curitiba, Brazil
    Wow, now I see how lazy I am. I just correct wb and level horizon. No filter, no nr, no nothing hahaha

    And still love the results. I think I have a very literal view of the world.
  17. phl0wtography

    phl0wtography Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 15, 2011
    Nothing to do with being lazy. If you like your photographs the way they come out of your camera, good for you! Maybe you shoot JPEG, I don't know.

    I shoot solely RAW, and the files are meant to be post processed. Like a negative in film days that got printed. RAWs lack contrast, sharpness, saturation, et cet. and without post processing look like a hollow shell of the scene exposed.

    Just for the record: There is no such thing as a literal view of the world when it comes to perception. All we get to perceive thanks to our senses is substance/ matter. The human being is not provided with the proper tools to look behind apparitions and sense their essence.
  18. bluzcity

    bluzcity Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2012
    Memphis, TN
    I subscribe to pictures of the week Week in Pictures - Award Winning Photo Journalism from Around the World - Watch this Week in News -| NBC News which is pretty much straight up photojournalism. While I am sure the basics, WB - contrast - and such is tweaked, I love the raw feel and mood of the images. Then I trek over to 500px and look at the favorites which many have the pp juice really turned up. There is surely lots of room for diversity. I guess what I do not want, or try not to do, is to process a poor image trying to make it into a good one; kind of like trying to put nice clothes on a pig... It is still a pig... Processing just can't fix an uninteresting picture..Lord knows I've tried a time or two.
  19. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.

    I don't post-process often, but when I do - I do it destructively.
  20. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    poor white balance!
    kelly got ahold of you :( hehehe
    it always looks great tho!
    i just spend a few hours yesterday attempting to ruin my white balance to copy you, but all my stuff just ended up looking like it had bad white balance... lol
    i lack the kvg touch!
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