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by Lars Kotthoff

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Post-processing is the process (and art) of adjusting a previously-captured image to obtain a desired look. It encompasses everything from simple whole-image adjustments to detailed per-pixel touch-up work.

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52
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14answers
2k views

When is black and white likely to enhance an image?

I recently had a play with converting some images to black and white to see how that changed the image. Some baby photos came out particularly well, while others I tried seemed less interesting when ...
44
votes
5answers
2k views

What should I look for in a monitor for photo processing?

What aspects should one keep in mind when choosing monitor for photo processing? What about color gamut, panel types, input types, requirements for video card, different gammas, refresh rate, angle of ...
39
votes
13answers
4k views

Why do it “in-camera” rather than in post-processing?

There's a very common attitude among photographers that the appearance of a photo (ex: exposure) should be created using the features of the camera (aperture, shutter, etc; does not include the ...
38
votes
13answers
7k views

Any good tutorials for learning how to post-process images?

I don't really know where to start with post-processing my images. I normally just straighten, crop and sharpen. Do people know of any good resources on the internet for getting a grip with Photoshop ...
36
votes
5answers
32k views

How do I combine multiple exposures for action shots?

I'd like to create one of those "stacked" action shot images where multiple exposures are combined to show the subject moving across a static background. Here's an example I found on Flickr (by ...
34
votes
5answers
6k views

How to get a miniature effect on pictures without special equipment?

I was browsing Behance and came upon these pictures: http://www.behance.net/gallery/The-Little-Things/402879 I was wondering how he got this miniature style effect? I'm guessing a Gaussian Blur on a ...
33
votes
1answer
10k views

How does one create the Dave Hill effect for portraits/action shots?

Inspired by the question here by sebastian.b, and the response to the subsequent meta question. I would like to ask how to achieve a specific photo effect. There may be more photographers that pull ...
30
votes
3answers
2k views

Unsharp mask - what do the parameters do?

I'm interested in getting into post-processing stuff, and I'm wondering about the Unsharp Mask operation. Specifically, there are 3 parameters involved: amount radius threshold What do these do? ...
27
votes
9answers
4k views

What's the difference between using black and white mode in-camera, and converting in post?

For black and white photography, will there be any quality difference between using the built-in black and white mode, or shooting in color initially and then removing the color later using Photoshop ...
26
votes
8answers
77k views

How do popular free RAW editor/converter compare to each other on Windows?

I'm looking for a free RAW editor/converter on Windows. Can you tell me some strong/weak points of them comparing with Capture NX and/or Adobe Photoshop Elements? RawTherapee PhotoFiltre Able RAWer ...
25
votes
11answers
962 views

Do you still bracket your photos?

Do you find that bracketing your photos is still in general a good practice, or has photo editing software greatly reduced the need for this? How To Bracket (Why You Should) Bracket Your Important ...
25
votes
9answers
1k views

How do I move my post-processing beyond Picasa?

Over time I've become fairly skilled in using Picasa to do post-processing starting with NEF files, but I'm thinking it's time to step it up a notch, and explore what I can do with a more ...
23
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I photograph moving subjects to allow good HDR processing?

I've started to experiment with HDR photography and would love to have a few shots of my family rendered via HDR. There's one problem - my family is human and they move, sometimes a LOT. How would ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I take flattering photos of people with acne (scarring)?

Occasionally I'll find myself as the photographer for a professional event at my Alma mater. As a natural consequence of the demographic, there's quite a few people there with severe acne and also ...
22
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I digitally post process Moon photos?

I've created a few photos of the Moon using a Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope and a DSLR. I've tried different ISO settings, shutter speed, bracketing to find the best settings. Here I show a (reduced ...
22
votes
9answers
4k views

How do I remove dead pixels from a digital photo?

I have a Nikon D90 and until recently it has been working just perfectly. While viewing a set of photos I had taken I'm starting to find these little nasty dead pixels: They only show up when ...
20
votes
7answers
1k views

What are the first few steps a beginner should take in post processing?

I'm starting to learn more about post processing my images, and I'm just wondering what are the first few steps I should take into post processing that would have the biggest effect on the photos I ...
19
votes
8answers
5k views

Do professionals all edit their pictures heavily?

I am wondering how many serious photographers do heavy editing in Photoshop after taking those pictures. Do all or most professional photographers do that? Or they just do a simple cropping and ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Why should my last post-processing step be sharpening?

I've seen a number of people recommend that you apply sharpening as the last step in post-processing, and some seem to imply you should always do that. Why? I tend to discard pictures that either are ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

How to have colors in Milky-way?

Many photos of Milky-way show it in nice colors instead of just the black of sky and white of the stars. Is the key to having those colors in the capturing of the image or in the post processing, or ...
19
votes
2answers
12k views

How does Picasa process RAW photos?

How does Picasa decide how to process RAW photos? When I shoot in RAW+JPEG the two pictures can look dramatically different. Is it just converting the RAW files upon import, or is post-processing ...
17
votes
4answers
956 views

How do I explain that post-processing is an important step in producing good photos?

Yesterday I shot a few very good pictures, went home and post-processed them. After a few hours, I showed the results to my friends. They told me "you did that with Photoshop", as I which is true, but ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

How did they post process before Photoshop?

So, yes, I'm intrigued as to how they post process pictures before Photoshop (or computers, for that matter) came about. Or is post processing a by-product of the computer revolution? My ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

What exactly does Tone Curve do in Lightroom?

In simple terms, what does Tone Curve in LR actually do?. I can see the results of changing Tone Curve by playing around with it, but I don't really understand scientifically what it actually does. I ...
16
votes
6answers
22k views

Where can I get free RAW files online for practicing with Lightroom?

I've downloaded Adobe Lightroom in order to learn RAW image processing. I want to practise on some photos that covers basic subjects (Histograms, HDR etc). Is there a good, free source of RAW images ...
16
votes
8answers
6k views

What is the best way to handle overexposed sky in post-processing?

I'm new at photography and I have taken some pictures where the subjects in the foreground are exposed correctly but the sky is very overexposed. What is the best way to handle it in post production? ...
16
votes
4answers
937 views

How do I create a “day-night” scene in a photo?

I recently came upon the image below, and more like them on Stephen Wilke's website, and was wondering how the image was made. It really seems that there would be some form of post processing, but ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What goes into making smooth, crisp, fashion magazine worthy shots?

I bought an SLR, a Nikon D70, several years ago with the intension of eventually reproducing the smooth but crisp effect I had seen from my favorite portrait shots like this one from Declan McCullagh: ...
16
votes
5answers
868 views

What types of filter cannot be emulated by post-processing?

What types of filter cannot be successfully emulated by digital post-processing? Polarizing, obviously. and neutral density for depth-of-field control. But what about UV filters? and are there other ...
16
votes
3answers
929 views

What is the Orton Effect and how can I apply it to digital photographs?

I have heard of a photographic effect known as the 'Orton Effect'. Can anyone tell me what the effect is, what its history is and how I would create it in both film and on my digital SLR?
16
votes
1answer
747 views

Will I lose image quality by adjusting white balance in post processing?

I understand that if I shoot in RAW, post processing software like Lightroom is capable of adjusting colour temperature and tint to my desire. Will I lose any image quality in process? Or is it as ...
15
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I make colorful, “saturated” photos like this example?

This may not be the best example but I liked the colors and angle. I have seen lot of similar photos. They look very colorful but not overdone (does it have any technical term) . Any suggestions for ...
15
votes
5answers
430 views

Reasons to use in camera special effects?

Are there any good reasons to use in-camera special effects, such as B+W or sepia conversion, rather than doing the same thing in software during post-processing? My gut says its better to have the ...
15
votes
3answers
13k views

Is there something similar to Adobe Lightroom for Linux?

I know about digiKam and Photivo, both of which are excellent software for post-processing RAW photographies and performing minor edits. However, these two programs aren't that good at organising ...
15
votes
4answers
589 views

How do you create a watermark for photos?

How do I create a watermark?
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Post-processing to remove background reflections on bald heads

I've done a series of chroma key shots of some co-workers for our website and generally everything came out great, except one of our guys is bald and, well, the green is reflecting onto his head. So, ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What sort of adjustments should be applied to bring out the colors in this photograph of the aurora?

I recently had the opportunity to photograph the Aurora Borealis and while a limited number of my photographs where quite striking with almost no adjustments, a lot of them look like the following: ...
14
votes
3answers
358 views

Compensating for poor air quality?

I live in a heavily industrialized part of China. The only time you could fairly describe the air as clean is the 45 minutes immediately after a heavy downpour. As such, photos taken of subjects ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the optimal order of post-processing steps?

I know it's best to do as much post-processing before converting from RAW, but in cases where it's not possible - what is the optimal order of post-processing steps (like noise removal, dust-spot ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Getting the starburst in sun shine like this photo is from post processing or done at capture?

I can't believe that the linked photograph is without any post processing. Is that starburst sun shine in the photograph an outcome of post processing or is it the result of a trick at capture time? ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Can you fix incorrect exposure during post processing?

If a photo is over or under exposed but not to the point of clipping (histogram does not reach the left or right side) is there any reason you couldn't just fix the exposure in Photoshop or Lightroom? ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I eliminate green-screen bounce?

I've got a vehicle green-screen room. Generally speaking, it works great. However, on candy-apple red there is a noticeable problem in post production: See the green outline on the trunk and hood ...
13
votes
3answers
453 views

How to avoid visual “burnout” during post-processing?

Sometimes I keep on adjusting a photo for longer than is healthy. What follows is that I go somewhat blind to tones and colors. Then, I get oversaturated and dark images. I am new to RAW processing, ...
13
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I get this 'glare' effect?

I have been staring at this Apple Image & trying to figure out how to get this glare effect (which can be seen on the monitor). Someone knows?
13
votes
2answers
6k views

How to I get the Instagram “Lux” effect without using Instagram?

I am kind of fascinated with the new Lux effect of Instagram. I want to "get" the same effect myself, during post processing. This is what I was able to get to, after playing with Levels, Contrast, ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I get this dramatic look through post-processing?

For a very long time I look for tutorials on the following type of post processing but haven´t been successful so far. To be more specific - I´m interested especially in how they get the colours and ...
13
votes
6answers
526 views

Techniques to pull skin tones out of the shadows?

What are some good workflows and methods for pulling skin tones out of the shadow and preserving tonality? I took a couple shots during a sunrise and did not want to blind riders (who had been riding ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Is in-camera high-ISO noise reduction worthwhile?

I shoot in RAW and post-process in Aperture where needed. Does the in-camera noise-reduction do anything that I can't do in Aperture or other post-processing software? It seems to add a bit of time ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I achieve this post-process effect?

I was wondering if you guys could have a look at this zombie gallery (a tad NSFW): http://www.behance.net/gallery/Zombie-Walk-Paris-2010/766679 and shed some light on the post-processing used in the ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I make a bottle image transparent?

I've taken some stock photography of lots of clear bottles, and now want to remove the background (which is white-ish, because at a pinch I could leave it...) so that the bottle becomes transparent ...