Thursday, September 22, 2011

Squirreling away

Cedric asked a hard question: "What made you decide to start post-processing your photos? In the past, if I remember correctly, your post-processing involved nothing more than downloading your photos and culling the ones that were not keepers. Now you seem quite interested in the post-processing aspects of photography. Does this have anything to do with the LX5 or is it simply a new interest?"

Well, this raised a lot of thoughs, some quite off-topic, but here goes, four different answers.

Answer 1:

It may be the autumn. I have sometimes gotten a sort of urge for hoarding (or squirreling) things, and done things I usually avoid, in preparation for the dark season ahead.

This reminds me of a Finnish book on "human squirrels" by Veikko Huovinen (Hamsterit). These guys (is it always men?) went to an extreme in preparation for hard times ahead, squirreling away food, fuel, and everything you can imagine.

Anyway, I'm preparing for the dark season ahead, and thus I'm hoarding tools and stuff which may come handy some dark day. (Incidentally, I have quite a collection of Swiss army knives, Leatherman tools and such, even though I hardly ever use them.)

Answer 2:

Then there is the idea of my "Dream Camera". Namely, I want to take photographs handheld also during autumn and winter, and that requires about three stops better performance as with the LX3. Or then I need to use a support, such as a mini-tripod, and this restricts me a lot.

When I'm using RAW on the LX5, I'm very close to the idea of my dream camera. This will allow me to take those photographs which before this were not taken, or failed miserably due to motion blur. And having Topaz DeNoise helps here also.

Answer 3:

Aperture allows efficient workflows. I was quite surprised how smoothly you can automate certain things in Aperture, and how little extra effort one needs (compared to iPhoto and additional software). So, this has made me interested in experimentation.

That said, I have done relatively little work on post-processing, compared to the usual screening of the JPEGs and deleting the bad ones (> 90% of all). I think I have so far developed only about 20 photographs in RAW format, all else have been JPEGs.

So, there have been a lot of talk and not so much effort.

Answer 4:

Sometimes I get the mood for trying out what one can do at the computer. In the early days, when I had just bought the LX3, I was using LightZone and Photoshop quite a lot, pushing the photographs to such extremes that I'm now ashamed of the results, which resembled HDR running seriously out of control.

And even though I have again tried my hand at post-processing, I'm mostly cured of the urge to do it more than every now and then.

So there

It was a good question, and I'm not yet sure I answered it. But at least I got some thoughts ventilated.

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