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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

Is there such a thing as a good photo? :D

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Old 09-10-2014, 05:19 PM
franko60 franko60 is offline
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Re: Is there such a thing as a good photo? :D

Digital post work turns a great photo into a fabulous one but it won't take a mediocre photo (technically speaking) into a great one. In the same way, great photographers used to spend hours in the darkroom (or their printers did) turning a great photo (negative) into a fabulous print.

Even in the days I was shooting 8x10 tranny, a dupe was often made and then sent to the retouchers to be hand-retouched using dyes, etc.

It has always been the case the initial photograph can be, was and is, improved in some way by some form of post production, either digital, darkroom or artist.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:09 AM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: Is there such a thing as a good photo? :D

That's pretty much the way I see it franko. Just to add another level of 'fiddling', I used to work with a photographer who shot neg (despite tranny being the norm) and then had his brother make hand prints. The depth of colour achieved was remarkable to my eyes and was superior to tranny. When the prints were perfect we would spend time getting the perfect RGB scan. Only when everything was to his satisfaction did we retouch and this was only ever to improve a detail here and there.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:09 PM
blohan blohan is offline
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Re: Is there such a thing as a good photo? :D

Originally Posted by Flashtones View Post
It's not like in the old days where you had to get it right on film without recourse. Back then you had to get everything right on set: clean backdrop, good hair, proper color-tested film stock of the appropriate contrast & saturation range. Back then you'd light, gel, process, etc, for final out of camera results.

Very nice. But also very laborious, expensive, time consuming, and anything but foolproof.

Now one shoots for post processing, with a much wider range of latitude down the road. So one will often shoot/raw-process dark (preserve highlights), flat (low contrast), low saturation, and undersharpened. The reason being, that anything too much in the other direction is harder to ameliorate after the fact. It's generally better to increase contrast, sat, sharpening, etc, in PS than decrease

So the OOC image of today is much farther from final form than a shot of yesteryear, but that's by intention, and for good reason: to deliver a good product for the post processing stage.

Having said all that, some photogs are obviously better at providing stellar results, at any stage of the process, that others. And many over rely on retouching to save their butts. But don't despair, that's good news for retouchers. It's work.

(Sorry if I'm being overly didactic. I seem to be that way of late.)
And that is why photography used to be so much better.
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