Thoughts: This photo is overphotoshopped

Recently I’ve read it a few times “this photo is overphotoshopped” or “show it before you used Photoshop” – under my photos or under photos of someone else. The thing is that many of those images were really great, with fantastic colours and mood – that is they were of very high artistic quality. Post-processing was strong on some of them but they were great photos in the first place – photoshopping just made them even better. Made them pop.

For me there is no such a thing as overphotoshopped photo as long as it creates the effect the artist had in mind. I don’t understand (and never will) why some people would love to see the world as they see it, not as the artist does it? Everyone who takes photos and is passionate about it, has it own style and show the world in a different and unique way – because he or she sees it in a slightly different way. For one the colour is more important, for another mood or texture.

Photography (which literally means light painting) is very close to painting – we do operate with light, colours, detail, textures. We show the world but our toolbox isn’t a brush and colour palette. If we would limit ourselves to what camera produces the world would be full of similarly looking images, nothing new, nothing creative. Post-processing is something that can make our photos stand out from the crowd of similarly looking images.

For that reasons SOOC (straight out of the camera) is a really weird movement for me. Some people do believe that such photos are better because they are natural, realistic and not processed at all. Well… that’s not true. They just leave all the decisions to the camera – it removes noise, increases (or decreases) saturation, sets white balance. All of these can be considered as post-processing. Moreover, each camera differs in a way it renders colours so choosing a camera might be considered a post-processing technique as well. So what’s wrong with making all these decisions ourselves? Not leaving it to the camera? For me it’s nothing wrong at all.

I hope you don’t get me wrong – I don’t mean that one should pay more attention to post-processing step than taking a photo. No. I still prefer to do as much in the camera as possible (but that’s just my way of taking photos). I use a lot of filters, wait patiently for good light, etc. But I do think that post-processing is as important as taking a photo. And even if someone creates his works mostly in Photoshop, does it really matter? It’s still an art 🙂

2017-01-17T19:43:00+00:00 November 11th, 2012|Posted in: Canary Islands, fuerteventura, hdr, landscape, thoughts|

    I agree whole heartedly.
    SOOC is for idle buggers…they generally shoot bad compositions in bad light and can’t be bothered.
    One can over process but then it is down to you. I like much of what this chap produces WOOD AND PIXELS
    He processes to within an inch of the images life and sometimes beyond but it is better than idle puritans that don’t even carry ND Grads.

    It’s art to me and I have shot on a mostly daily basis….and posted the same day. That was my learning curve and now I’m away back to medium format film, scanning and post processing.
    Also look here for perfectly lit shots that are processed. JAMIE BECK

  • Wojciech Toman

    Thanks for the link to Wood & Pixels – some very cool work. However, the link to Jamie Beck seems to be broken 🙁

  • Esa Rosqvist

    I totally agree with you. It’s personal choice to like it or not, but post-processing definetely is part of this century photography. By the way catchpa is really annoying. You can take it off from options. There is alternative option so you can see the comments and decide will they be published or not. And very nice work as well.

  • Wojciech Toman

    Thanks for feedback on captcha – I totally agree with you (it seems Google “improved” it so I now fail 2 out of 3 times 😉 ) I changed the settings as you recommended


    Try this JAMIE BECK

  • David Stoddart

    100% with you man

  • Jim Nix

    I think you already know how I feel about post-processing 🙂