The BS of Digital Photography

paul stenquist pnstenquist at
Wed Oct 7 13:42:06 EDT 2009

On Oct 7, 2009, at 1:29 PM, Ken Waller wrote:

> Coming from 35 years or so of slide film only exposures, my approach  
> is similar - the more you get right in the camera the less time you  
> spend on the computer.
> Most of the pros I know do the same, they don't want to spend any  
> more time than absolutely necessary on the computer.

It only makes sense to work that way, and it's not just a matter of  
time. Some changes in post lead to less than happy results. For  
example, correcting underexposure will usually increase shadow noise.  
Incorrect white balance can only be readjusted to perfection if you  
have a pure grey or white area in the shot that is correctly lit.

> Kenneth Waller
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Mark Roberts" <mark at 
> >
> Subject: Re: The BS of Digital Photography
>> Christine  Aguila wrote:
>>> Even with digital, I still try to get the best photo in-camera
>>> to keep the post-capture processing down.  When I started shooting  
>>> digital,
>>> I read somewhere that more than 5 or 10 minutes or so on a  
>>> standard picture
>>> should be enough post-processing.  I try to follow this rule-- 
>>> obviously
>>> there are exceptions with playful renderings etc--but for the most  
>>> part--for
>>> me--it's a good rule to follow.  I've noticed that as my skills  
>>> improve, I'm
>>> even getting a lot faster than 5 minutes.
>> This is my approach *exactly*: I try to get the capture as close to
>> perfect as I can - just like I did with film - with the goal of doing
>> as little post-processing as possible (just like I did with film). ND
>> grads, fill flash, reflectors, you name it, it's still in my arsenal
>> of "get the best capture" tools.
>> After bringing everything into Lightroom I do a quick pass to pick  
>> the
>> standouts and eliminate the obvious mistakes. Then I spend probably
>> about 30 seconds (at most) on most images doing rough highlight
>> recovery, exposure and brightness adjustments, generally. After
>> setting everything aside for a week or so (assuming no specific
>> deadlines) I'll come back to the best shots to give them extra time
>> and fine tuning (and to further delete the shots that a week's
>> perspective has let me see aren't as good as I fists believed/hoped!)
>> But with most collections we're talking about 2-5 shots out of every
>> 100 or so that get extra time.
>> The rare, portfolio-grade, shot will get additional attention in
>> Photoshop.
>> Being able to put aside the evaluation of your shots for a week or
>> more seems to be a crucial part of the process for me. The extra time
>> provides perspective and seems to let me be more objective about my
>> own work. It's then easier to see which shots really stand out and
>> which need to go into the bit bucket.
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