Post Processing Considerations…

Pre-Visualization: Your Recipe For Success!

When I am out shooting, I think about the following issues:

  • Subject
  • Foreground
  • Background
  • Clouds/Water Reflections/Leaves
  • Light Type & Direction
  • Lens Selection
  • Lens Flair
  • Weather Conditions
  • Exposure & Depth Of Field (DOF)
  • Infrared Filter Selection
  • Subject With Regards To Faux/B&W
  • Faux Color And B&W Post Processing Style For Contrast, Colors And Sharpness (YES, this is part of the creative process!)

Post Processing…. Surprised? Computer time using Photoshop during Post Processing is every bit as important as the technical process within the camera! You can believe that Ansel Adams spent just as much time considering his darkroom time and work flow when he was standing behind his camera, and so should you!

Remember Fine Art Photography is not grabbing a camera and snapping a picture (you can get luck once in a while though) rather it is a process.  Step 1 through ?. If you can get your process (work flow) down so that it becomes second nature to you then you will generate a much greater number of acceptable images!  So, you really do need to keep your post processing work flow in mind as you are composing your image behind the lens.

I usually think about:


  • The target colors that I desire for the leaves (filter choice) and the angle of the sunlight (NIK Viveza capabilities) and adjust my subject/sunlight angle to get the lighting on the leaves to generate the Post Processing expectations.
  • Secondary subject elements for alternative Faux color splashes.
  • Positioning for water/sunlight angle  transparency colors
  • Subjects or secondary subject elements for B&W Post Processing within the Faux Color image.
  • Cloud structure dynamic range (is it within Post Processing adjustment capabilities?).

Black & White

  • Overall image dynamic range (Black black to White?)
  • Subject components that can be adjusted to high contrast values.
  • Overall mood of subject (remember visualize in B&W!)
  • Subject components that have high sharpness capabilities for impact (much more important in B&W)
  • Moody clouds with dark and bright areas.

As you can see, I think about a lot of things before I even look at the camera.  The time you spend thinking about the after photography process is well spent during the image capture phase and will guarantee great images!

As an example for you I include two images here, one in Faux and one in B&W.  When I was standing there on the boardwalk in Georgetown looking at the shrimp boats across the river I knew from experience that it would generate a good Faux Color image because of the blue sky, the water conditions and the trees in the background.  It was the B&W post processing that gave me pause.

Consider the sky; no clouds so it will photograph plain (no impact) and dark gray. So to overcome this short comming I plan in my mind to automatically add contrast in one corner progressing outward to cover about 75% of the sky to add impact and mood.

The Water; I look for highlights and ripples, knowing that I will highly sharpen them to add supporting subject highlights.

The Main Subjects; The shrimp boats are quite small but will add impact.  BUT if I can add a foreground secondary subject it will add structure which will draw you into the image!  So I move around and place a dock and piling into the lower left corner.

Now, I have the necessary subject elements and dynamic range to know that I can generate a great B&W image during post processing!  All of this before I ever looked through the camera!

Take a look at the images and tell me what you think!


Georgetown Harbor, Faux Color Post Processing



Georgetown Harbor, B&W Post Processing



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