Category Archives: Teaching point

How I Post-Process My Images.

One of the more frequent questions I receive is:

How do you post-process your images?

My short answer is:

I don’t follow a recipe.

What follows is a more detailed response.  I’ve previously presented some of this information on this site, but this post will serve to amalgamate and edit the content.

—Peter.

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The Software I Use

I use the latest version of Adobe Lightroom (LR).  Within LR, I often use Nik plug-ins (Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Viveza).

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The Concept of Pre-Processing

Almost all photographers post-process (i.e., make image-enhancing adjustments, after a photograph is taken).  What many novice photographers fail to recognize is the importance of pre-processing (my term).  Pre-processing involves identifying and harnessing — before an image is taken — naturally-occurring enhancing elements in a scene, such as good light, perspective, etc., that cannot be altered after the fact:

Boy

In the case of this image, Boy, the soft light that was present after the sun set was harnessed to achieve a rich palette of colours and tones.  This cannot be achieved in post-processing.  The perspective I’ve chosen to photograph this image from is from down low; this too cannot be achieved in post-processing.

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My Cameras and My Camera Settings

I tend to favour cameras with limited menu options, or no menu options (film cameras).  I prefer to adjust camera settings using external dials/controls.  I limit the variables with which I concern myself to only three: Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO.  Hence, I always shoot in Manual mode.  Modern camera “features” such as scene recognition, smile detection, etc., and even not-so-old features such as exposure compensation serve only to clutter my mind and sabotage my shots.

I don’t even use auto-focus (eliminating another variable), choosing instead to manually focus.

Generally speaking, I believe that camera features — even sophisticated ones — can never substitute for photographic vision.

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Post-Process, not Over-Process

Many images on the web today appear “over-cooked” to my eye.  Therefore, I always try to exercise restraint when post-processing.  In fact, as time has gone by, I’ve toned down my manipulation of images.

My goal is to make my post-processing invisible.

On a related note, shooting film helps keep me grounded with respect to what I am trying to achieve with my digital images.

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Finally, My Post-Processing “Process”

I photograph in RAW mode.

Each image is post-processed by eye.  Occasionally I spend many hours honing a single image.  Each photo is processed individually, depending on the subject matter, lighting, and mood.

The adjustments are small, and incrementally applied. My method now differs from what I was doing last year… this will also be true next year — in other words, my approach is constantly evolving.

It is a very personal process, dictated in good measure by artistic license; it is not open to “cookbook” interpretation.

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—Peter.

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Further Reading:

My Photography Workflow – 5 Items I Consider When Creating Images.

My Photography Workflow – Inspiration.

My Photography Workflow – Infusion of Self.

The world’s longest-running CCD “Open Letter to Leica” :) continues…

I’d to like see CCD sensors in future Leica M bodies.

Why?

Because I believe CCD is superior (in tonality, micro-contrast, general je ne sai quoi vibe) to CMOS with respect to image rendition at base ISO (you know, the kind of environment in which most of us photograph).

Most of you realize this to be true.  Even those of you who initially disagreed now see there is a difference, and it favours CCD.

Am I splitting hairs in citing such nuances in sensor rendition?

Not any more so than the frequent discussions that take place around lens rendition.

Come on, you know the superior qualities of CCD befit a company like Leica!

So, if you haven’t already, please consider signing my Open Letter to Leica.

(over 270 signatures so far… )

Prosophos Open Letter to Leica

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Related posts:

12 50 3.

I’ve owned twelve Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH lenses in my lifetime, and three of them have been perfect in build quality and astoundingly sharp at f/1.4.  The rest have been just short of exceptional.  Most people wouldn’t notice… because they’ve never been crazy enough to buy, use, and sell multiple examples of them.

And don’t even ask me how many new Leica lenses will arrive with loose aperture rings, or wobbly built-in hoods, or back-focusing, or front-focusing, or… etc.

The moral of the story: in the case of Leica lenses, it can be advantageous to buy used vs. new in a sealed box.  You not only save on price, you also have the opportunity to examine and photograph with the lens you’re interested in before purchasing.

—Peter.

The Peter | Prosophos Open Letter to Leica, revisited.

Ahhh, that Kodak (now Truesense) sensor in the M9/M-E/Monochrom… is it still the best sensor out there?

My answer:  Yes.

Is there another sensor that conjures up the same level of image quality?

Yes, the one in the M8!

So, I’d to like see CCD sensors in future Leica M bodies.

Would you?

Please consider signing my Open Letter to Leica.

(over 250 signatures so far… )

Prosophos Open Letter to Leica

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Related posts:

The Crucible.

“You will, Judas, my brother. God will give you the strength, as much as you lack, because it is necessary—it is necessary for me to be killed and for you to betray me. We two must save the world. Help me.”

Judas bowed his head. After a moment he asked, “If you had to betray your master, would you do it?”

Jesus reflected for a long time. Finally he said, “No, I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to. That is why God pitied me and gave me the easier task: to be crucified.”

― Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ.

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The Crucible

The End.

Every end is a beginning.

The End

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“I’m writing you, to catch you up on places I’ve been

And you held this letter
Probably got excited
But there’s nothing else inside it

Didn’t have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
Maybe I will tell you all about it
When I’m in the mood to lose my way with words.”

 

—John Mayer, 3 x 5.

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Looking for a Konica Hexanon 60mm f/1.2?

konica-hexanon-60mm-f.2.

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This lens is rarely offered for sale, as only 800 copies were ever made and current owners tend to hold on to them.

However, Bellamy of Japan Camera Hunter fame has one available in mint conditionBellamy has a great reputation for his service and he excels at finding hard-to-find gear, so if you’re interested do not hesitate to contact him.  However, I should warn you the price of this lens is… well….

My review of the Konica Hexanon 60/1.2, Special Edition was written three years ago, and I still have people writing and asking me why I sold it.  At the time I purchased it, I “over-payed” for it, then sold it for a loss, and now it’s worth 4 – 5 times that price!

Ironically, I believe my review helped drive up the cost of this lens, but now I can’t afford to get another one…

Anybody want to crowd-fund a purchase?

—Peter.

 

Leica 75mm Summarit f/2.5 [Updated].

Leica Summarit 75mm.

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I’ve updated my review of the Leica 75mm Summairt f/2.5 lens.

More images from recent posts were added, and the content was edited.

Thanks,

—Peter | Prosophos.

Leica M(240) Akademie Workshop In Toronto!

Leica M Akademie Toronto

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Leica is coming to my town on July 19th (that’s less than 5 days away)!

From Leica‘s own promotional email:

“This full day, hands-on workshops are designed to help owners of the latest Leica M model get outstanding results from their game changing, digital rangefinder.”

(The grammatical error above is courtesy Leica.)

Unlike the Leica Akademie workshop of 2012, I won’t be the guest speaker, as I haven’t figured out how to “get outstanding results from their game changing, digital [M240] rangefinder”.

On a related note…

If you haven’t already done so, please consider signing my Open Letter to Leica.

(over 250 signatures so far… )

Prosophos Open Letter to Leica

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Related posts:

The Beautiful Game – Shift Change.

Mirroring, parallelism, and synchronicity.

And, beautiful light.

—Peter.

The Beautiful Game - The Shift Change

Sigma DP2 Quattro.

Sigma Quattro

↑Image courtesy of Sigma Corporation.

It may be because the Sigma Photo Pro (SPP) converter hasn’t yet been optimised, but the initial RAW/JPG images I’m seeing from the new Sigma DP2 Quattro are somewhat disappointing.

The images are suggesting that image quality has suffered (as compared to the Sigma Merrill) with the re-design of the fabled Foveon sensor.  I hope they haven’t indeed messed things up.

This is reminiscent of the whole Leica M240 vs. M9 business.

—Peter.

The Leica 75mm Summarit – back again.

Leica Summarit 75mm.

A few days ago, I hinted that a second lens would soon be joining my newly-acquired Leica M-E, and it arrived today.

Yes, the Leica 75mm Summarit is back (and it joins my 35mm Summarit for a 35/75 set-up).

My detailed report on the Leica 75mm Summarit is here.

—Peter.

Toothless and cyanotic.

One thing about the 6 x 7 format I really appreciate is that everything is depicted in a “grand” way (even blue tongues!) and truer to life vs. the 35mm format.

The effect is always visible to my eye, but becomes more apparent  when comparing images from the two formats in a side-by-side fashion.

—Peter.

Toothless and Cyanotic

Man, oh man, that sweet M9/M-E CCD.

Okay, I’ve made no secret of my appreciation of film over all things digital.   I’ve always felt this way, but as I’ve gained more and more experience over the years with digital and film images from various gear, that appreciation has only grown.

Similarly, in returning to the Leica M9/M-E a few days ago, my appreciation for that magical Kodak (now Truesense) CCD has grown.  After photographing with various CMOS sensor-based cameras this past year (including the Sony RX1R, Leica M240, Nikon D800E, and Nikon Df), I can honestly say that the CCD sensor in the M9/M-E is still superior to them all.

—Peter.

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If you haven’t already done so, please consider signing my Open Letter to Leica.

(over 250 signatures so far… )

Prosophos Open Letter to Leica

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Related posts:

 

Andy Gemmell Photography.

Long-time friend and contributor of this site, Andy Gemmell, has just launched his own photography site:

Andy Gemmell Photography

Many of you have seen Andy’s work on my site, and have benefited from his frequent and always thoughtful commentary.

(So, we’re expecting big things from you Andy and you’re off to a great start with your first article!)

Congratulations Andy,

—Peter.

 

Father’s Day, Part 2.

Part 1 was presented a few days ago here.

Father's Day, Part 2

After 4 months with the Mamiya RZ67 & 110/2.8…

After four months with the Mamiya RZ67 and Mamiya RZ 110/2.8 lens, I can say with absolute certainty that this gear (together with Kodak Tri-X 400 film) is superior to anything I’ve ever used before for portraiture.

To think that people are practically giving this film equipment away is very telling of our instant gratification-based culture.

Sometimes, the results are truly worth waiting for.

I’ll be posting new images soon, but in the meantime, please have a look at some of the photographs the combo has yielded for me so far:

—Peter.

Love Aura   Hockey GirlWinter Hat Portrait Brushing Honey  The Truth  Smile

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