Three photo image manipulation questions
At art shows, I’ll periodically be asked questions specific to my fine art prints.
- “Do you edit your images”.
- “Are your images PhotoShopped?”
- “What post processing do you do?”
Yes – to the first
The answer to the first question, is “yes”. Upon importing the images into Lightroom on my computer, I go through each and every image and edit out (delete) those I do not like.
Deleted immediately – out-of-focus images.
Typically I may retain only 15-20% of the images from any one event.
No – to the second
When used as a verb, the PhotoShop question implies a different question. “Did you add anything to this image”?
To that question, the answer is no.
Lightroom – to answer the third question
I do so using Adobe PhotoShop Lightroom (commonly called “Lightroom”).
Lightroom is a photographers software. Each image is easily catalogued, developed, and printed to the photographer’s desire.
Do I manipulate my images?
Yes, I do.
As an artist, it is important to create the image I envision when depressing the shutter. Part of this includes making all the decisions, from capture settings through to the final print.
Even before clicking the shutter, I manipulate the scene to my desire by the choice of lens I use and camera placement.
Each lens provides a different visual effect. Each lens visually manipulates the elements within the scene. Camera placement adds to this “scene manipulation” providing different perspectives.
I create the final image
As an artist, I’m free to create the image as I desire.
Everything is captured in full resolution, 14 bit, Camera RAW using manual settings. With the largest file setting (in my case, over 21 MP), I obtain maximum scene data which is utilized to the fullest extent later in Lightroom, with a color calibrated monitor.
Adjustments will be made to exposure, contrast, luminance, tone curves, black and white points, cloning and healing, dust removal, just to name a few.
Honoring the natural scene
Though I may remove a small element to improve the image, I do not add things that didn’t exist in the original scene.
If something wasn’t there when I snapped the shutter, it isn’t going to be in the final image.
With single exposure
Some have asked if I use HDR. I do not. It’s just not the way I choose to convey the scene.
HDR is a process where one takes multiple images of the same scene with different settings. Using software, the multiple images are merged into one.
All images are single exposure.
Black & White – image manipulation
While speaking of image manipulation, there are some images I’ll view as potential black and white candidates.
Again using the power of Lightroom, I process the images as I see them, complete with the black and white tones.
High contrast images make the best black and white candidates.
The ultimate expression
In consideration of the above, I always view creating the best image in the field (via lens selection, composition, etc.) the first criteria for a successful print. Post processing only amplifies the visualized image that I had initially created.
The final print, which I print myself, allows for this ultimate expression of my initial visualization.
I often hear, “this print speaks to me”.
It is through my artistic vision, from initial exposure to final print, that I am able to provide you with the emotional attachment you feel toward your selected print.