A shoot from a shoot yesterday will help illustrate a point I am ambivalent about: whether to do post work that materially changes an image, or not.
The original shot is rough: lit with two speedlights, on one camera and one off camera:
So we do some minor skin adjustments (including a minor “clarity” decrease) and a somewhat major crop:
That crop is essential: simplify, simplify, simplify!
That is all the post work I normally do. It does not materially change the image. My rule of thumb: could I have done this with light? If so, no problem doing it in post.
But in this rare case I want a very different look – so now I do a post action in Lightroom to make it look the way I want. Rare for me, but here it is:
What do you think? Allowed in this rare case? Of course by definition you are allowed to do whatever you like – you are the creative artist – but I would counsel against doing too much.