How much editing do you do?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Moakesy, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. Moakesy macrumors regular


    Mar 1, 2013
    My sister in law, who returned to photography a year ago, has finally given up on her D750. We both have the same camera, I love it, she hates it....but we shoot different subjects.

    She loves to shoot landscapes and just can't get on with it....below are a few extracts from her messages to me...

    "Hi, really sorry, but the camera is going! Took it out Saturday and Sunday and didn't get one decent photo, tried loads of different settings, but it is just so flat on landscapes, the landscape detail is much better on my Canon 350d! Admittedly, it is a fantastic portrait camera, but I love landscape and it's just not doing what I want it to do!

    I have shot in both JPEG and RAW and it really didn't make any difference on the landscape shots! I like to see an image in front of me and capture it! All the photos I take on the Canon I don't need to edit, apart from cropping or changing to B&W, I love them as they are. For me going into lightroom and editing them defeats what I set out to do, capturing a real moment in time, the way the light hits a field or mountain etc, I don't want to have to go and change and enhance it, I want to capture what I saw in front of me, what inspired me to take that shot in the first place! Maybe I am too arty party lol, but I am not great at all the techy stuff!!"

    So now she's selling her camera & lenses and considering a Canon, but has budget limitations given the hit she has to take selling stuff second hand.

    Which got me wondering....I view digital photography as a two step process.....capture the image, then enhance it on the computer back home. As you can see, my sister in law just wants to capture what's in front of her as it looks at that moment, which doesn't seem an unreasonable expectation.

    Landscapes aren't my thing, but I see some fantastic images in the weekly competitions and the Photo of the Day how much editing do you do with these? Do any of you aim to shoot as close as possible in camera, with minimal editing?
  2. The Bad Guy macrumors 65816

    The Bad Guy

    Oct 2, 2007
  3. admwright macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    The Canon and Nikon are quite different cameras and the default setup will be different. Also RAW does not help her if she does not want to do any / much editing. What she should look at this setting the picture control profile and use one that gives a processing that is closer to what she is seeing. Nikon have a web page about this that might help:

    Note that you can start with one of the standard controls (landscape?) and adjust / tweak to give even more control.

    All the best
    Andrew W.
  4. Mark0, Mar 29, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017

    Mark0 macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2014
    SW Scotland
    Editing can vary, some images need more to get them how I like them - some need barely anything. I use grad filters etc to try and do as much in camera as possible - especially when shooting film.

    I don't feel I go overboard but when I find I'm spending a lot of time in LR/PS on one image, I sit back and ask myself why I need to do so. This helps me learn. For those interested, here are some screen grabs from LR, with Before on the Left, and After on the right. I've included a snapshot of the adjustments that were made. I always switch the camera profile from Adobe Standard to one of the excellent Fuji Film Simulations to get the colour I like. I obviously adjust sharpening and sometimes a bit of dehaze but I don't have the space to include every LR panel for each image. I then import into PS and straighten horizons, clone stuff out (see if you can find the sensor spots) or do localised adjustments / masking or add a vignette if I feel the image needs it. The extent of these can vary and are what I consider the finishing touches.

    Here are 3 of my more popular images, including the one from Sunday evening that seemed to set my Facebook photography page on fire - a bit like the sky featured in the photo :eek: The main change in colour was to try and fix the pink/purple representation of the sky more to the orangey sort of look I saw with my eyes. I had to faff about with the Hues and stuff like that to get it right. I'll list the film simulations with each image - bear in mind the left hand photo is the Adobe Standard colour profile.

    Auchenmalg Bay, Velvia Film Sim
    Auchenmalg Edits.jpg

    Cockle Shore Frost, Velvia Film Sim
    Cockle Shore Edits.jpg

    Dounan Bay, Pro Negative Standard (the least saturated film profile - Velvia / Provia rendered unrealistic and overcooked colour)
    Dounan Bay Edits.jpg

    Hope someone finds this useful.
  5. anotherscotsman macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2014
    Laziness and inability encourage me to do as little as possible. Generally everything I do is within the raw processing capabilities of Capture One rather than any more sophisticated editing software. Not wishing to ignite a Canon/Nikon/Sony... discussion, I've always liked how Canon cameras render landscape colours. Example below of SOOC and posted images:

    EOSM3 PlayIMG_3791 1.jpg EOSM3 PlayIMG_3791.jpg

    In essence all I did was boost saturation by a touch and to lift the foreground shadows using the shadow recovery tool. Whilst I generally capture as RAW files, the Canon Landscape profile for JPEGS works pretty well IMHO. You can always edit any of the profiles to suit your particular preferences.
  6. OzBok macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    Is your sister using the active d lighting setting in the camera? I personally haven't used it, but from what I understand of it, it is supposed to bring out more range in detail.

    Maybe you could post a pic of hers with her criticisms of it, sure there's enough knowledge here to find out if settings can be tweaked or even show her what minimal processing can do, so it doesn't seem as daunting or time consuming
  7. Moakesy thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 1, 2013
    It's essentially this ^
    Some inability / lack of motivation to do loads of post prod work means she wants to capture the image she has in front of her......not some cold, sterile data set that then needs work on a pc. With her old Canon, the images are closer to that...and she is going to go back to Canon now....although not sure what yet. I'm seeing her at Easter, so will go through some basic Lightroom / RAW file processing with her, but at heart she is artistic, not technical.

    You example image is EXACTLY what she is after....the SOOC image is still warm, and I'd imagine close to what you saw with your eye?

    She said she's used all sorts of settings, but given up. Last night I used a couple of her snaps and did a little tweaking in LR to show what can be done, but the core issue remains. The link below has four photos in it.

    2 x D750. One is her original. One is my [warmed up] tweak in LR
    2 x Canon. One is her original, with a similar LR change applied to it.

    Essentially her point is the Canon original comes out better than the D750 with no edits applied.

    DISCLAIMER : These are her quick snaps to illustrate her point about flat colours, I know the horizon isn't straight etc. Likewise, my LR edits were simple 20 seconds jobs....there was no point me doing loads of editing when she would never do that.
  8. OzBok, Mar 30, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017

    OzBok macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    EXIF looks like auto set for a lot of things on the D750? and if I'm not mistaken (as I've never really looked at exif before) looks like she is shooting in auto mode as well?

    What settings is she playing with... I'm no pro, but to me that image would be improved with exposure compensation -1/3 to -2/3 to bring out the darker detail white balance on cloudy rather than auto white balance (that only works if she's willing to change it with software). I'm sure somebody will correct me if I'm wrong
  9. anotherscotsman macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2014
    Pretty much how they "felt" at the time. A bit underexposed to really bring out the colours but the warmth was certainly there. I'd certainly encourage her to at least capture RAW+JPEG and have a play with the RAW file to see how/if she could improve on the camera JPEG settings. Could even get into the Canon Picture Style editor (or Nikon/Sony/Fuji equivalent) to generate her own preferred look for JPEGs going forward.

    I did a quick comparison of the SOOC JPEG from the EOS M3 with the default processing on RAW import by C1P and I certainly preferred the latter without having to do any adjustments.
  10. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    here is my opinion on the subject - not just this one event.
    I feel, especially with landscape photography, one has to have a connection to the landscape - as you convey emotion in the photos to the viewers.

    i think this is more of this than just the photos not turning out. My brother wanted me to shoot photos for his new brewery he has a grand opening on April 8th (in Carlsbad, CA if you are local), and i didn't get anything i would personally get printed. But again, it was a forced shoot - time constraints, not knowing the area, no emotional attachments in any way.

    this may be hoopla to some people, but this is how i operate. And i feel i have made "a few" good photos over the past 15 years
    --- Post Merged, Mar 30, 2017 ---
    oh and as far as how much editing i do, all depends on the photos and my mood. Sometimes i will edit a photo, and it will marinate for sometimes 6 months. sometimes i can edit something within a few days of taking the photo
  11. anotherscotsman macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2014
    I'm certainly not against editing, it is as much part of photography as taking the shot itself and many shots do need to be altered either to achieve a particular look or to rescue them! But perhaps reflecting my own lack of vision/ability, I try to get the capture to be as close to what I want but this is frequently not possible so editing comes to the rescue. Frequently...
  12. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    Of all of the genres of photography, landscape photography is one where editing is increasingly de rigueur. Landscapes lend themselves very well to creative interpretation, and some of the most cutting-edge post-processing techniques are emerging in response to challenges that are common to the genre. Nonetheless, every artist should use the tools that work for them. If your sister is not getting on well with her current camera, then perhaps switching to another one will help, but alternatively she might want to learn more about the editing side of things.

    I recently wrote an article explaining some of the most progressive editing techniques emerging in the art of landscape photography. Here is the link for anyone who might be interested:
  13. mollyc macrumors 68000

    Aug 18, 2016
    Canon and Nikon shoot very differently. I've used two Canon models (a 30D and a 5DII) and two Nikon models (D700 and D800) extensively. I started with Canon and was primarily a portrait shooter. I struggled for years with Canon because the skin turned magenta so easily and I would spend a time in post doing localized corrections for skin. Eventually I switched to Nikon and now my skin tones are pretty much spot on as long as the WB is correct. I have a really hard time going back to my own images shot on the Canons and being able to re-edit them.

    That said, if she is just shooting in auto, she isn't going to get the look she wants. Maybe have her play with some of the jpeg settings in camera if she doesn't want to do post. Teach her how to set a custom white balance (Kelvin is awesome once you get the hang of it). I know professionals who do shoot jpeg, but they do their post in camera with settings rather than doing them after in LR/PS.

    To the actual question, how much editing I do depends on the subject and purpose. I always correct WB and horizon line. I have a specific import preset for LR that adds in contrast (I shoot raw exclusively). Some images get a more thorough edit in LR for vignette, localized color corrections/tweaking, etc. plus cropping. And then fewer still, but a decent amount will get taken through PS for a "full" edit, whatever that would involve. Cloning, color manipulation, etc.
  14. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    I've been doing very little editing with my D750. I don't do a lot of landscape but the images that I have capture had very little editing. Basically very little editing...sometimes O editing. ITS GREAT!

    If you sister still had the camera she could've tried working with different settings. When I shot landscape I didn't have to open the Aperture much. Before I was shooting maybe around F/11 and lower. With the D750 I started around f/11 and sometimes f/22. Each camera has it's sweet spot. With each camera I will try to find that.
  15. Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

    Oct 12, 2016
    Editing (post processing) for landscape photography is not a new practice, it has been going on for decades. The artist most recognized for landscapes, Ansel Adams spent hours and hours in the darkroom, burning and dodging prints.

    If you read his classic tutorial trilogy, The Camera, The Negative and The Print, you will find ample evidence that he believed that darkroom work was crucial for an artist to master the technical aspects of creating a pleasing image.

    You can't just plant your camera's tripod in Ansel's tripod holes at Yosemite or Big Sur, press the shutter button, convert the image to grayscale and expect to get the same results.

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14 March 29, 2017