When it comes to photography, post-production is key. Digital post-production is in fact the equivalent of what used to be done in the darkroom with analog photography. Of course, it’s quite a different type of post-production that opens up to a wide and interesting range of possibilities. Check out our 10 tips for post-production in photography to discover some helpful ideas.
In order to obtain the best results in the post-production of a photograph it helps to be familiar with a few tricks and tips that can let you make the most of digital post-production.
- Find the program that best suits you
If the changes you make to your photos are minimal, it makes no sense to spend money and energy to buy and learn how to use sophisticated post-production software: there are a number of good and free online photo editing programs that you can use to make slight changes to your shots.
- Try to have a clear idea before starting post-production
Always bear in mind that digital post-production “ruins” the picture, modifying its quality. This is why it’s always best to carry out targeted action, without trying a thousand things with the risk of layering effects that will drastically lower the image quality.
- Declare the touch up
Unless you make minimal changes to the picture, needed only to tweak the levels, don’t pretend you haven’t done any post-production of a photo. The only thing worse than a badly post-produced photo is a nicely post-produced photo that poses as an untouched shot.
- Post-production doesn’t necessarily mean photo touch-up.
Post-production of a photo doesn’t necessarily coincide with retouching the elements present in the shot. Digital post-production can also simply involve adjustment of the lighting, exposure or contrast to improve a photo that’s been taken in non-optimal conditions.
- The importance of a shot
Digital post-production is a useful aid to your shots, but it’s essential to remember that the most important part is the shot! Avoid thinking “I’ll just fix it during post-production”: no software can perform miracles on a bad picture; you have to have a solid base to start with.
- Don’t overdo it with digital post-production
Don’t get carried away! We often tend to overload images with filters and touch-ups when, actually, less is more when it comes to improving a shot. Never exaggerate with filters during the post-production of a photo: it will end up looking too fake and consequently unpleasant to the eye!
- You can also not use post-production
Don’t get stuck on the idea that it’s always necessary. Have faith in your shots. Sometimes you might not even need digital post-production of a photo that’s already fine without the extra help!
- Use post-production when you know how to!
If you want to use digital post-production on your shots, learn how to first: don’t just dive in the deep end of what is an actual professional job. Start by understanding what you actually want to do (the world of digital post-production is truly infinite!) then concentrate on learning how to effectively use the tools you need and never underestimate the difficulty of post-production!
- Use digital post-production to eliminate distracting elements, not physical “defects”!
We often see photos that have been badly touched-up in the attempt to eliminate alleged defects of the subject. Post-production is handy for eliminating things that interfere with the shot (e.g. branches sticking out of fences, etc.), but avoid eliminating “physical” defects. On the contrary, when taking the picture, try to enhance your subject’s strong points!
- Remember to never work on the original shot!
Always work on a copy and never on the original file. In this way, if you realize that you actually liked the “natural” shot, you won’t cry over the spilled milk of a photo that’s been irreversibly modified!
Now that you’ve read our 10 Tips for post-production in photography you can make the most of your pictures and upload them to Gallerist: there’s someone who could be looking exactly for your photos!