Today, a few more words about “post-production”.
I tend to pride myself on the fact that “I shoot in the camera”.But even then, there are things you can do “in post”, and that I feel fine in doing when I feel like it, because you cannot do them in the camera; or because in the past, you would choose a particular kind of film. And while you probably should not manipulate all your images, “pixels were born to be punished”, as Frederick Van Johnson says.
Take this recent nude:
That was lit simply and neutrally, with one or two flashes (one on the camera and one in an umbrella, if I recall correctly), so I can do all sorts of things with it. “Lighting it simply” is pretty much a requirement if I want the most options open to me, so that is the way I shot it.
Now let’s see. Here it is in Black and White, with skin brightened (using the Lightroom HSL slider) to give a high-key image:
Or consider this, a gritty B/W look, with lots of film grain added as well – view it full size to see the effect:
Or this, a cold look:
Or this, an “oldfashioned” look:
Or this, a split toned look, straight out of the 1960s:
Those last four were built into Lightroom: a click is all you need. But you can do more yourself, and it is very simple. Like this desaturated look:
Or this rather Polaroid-like look:
I think I like the third image best – it suits the model’s look best in my opinion – but that is my opinion. I love the one before last, too. The point here is that all these are very different, and all good.
So before we take my “shoot in the camera” as mantra: what I really mean is: shoot in the camera as much as you can; i.e. do not use post production as a substitute for proper exposure and lighting. But beyond that: as long as you are not shooting news, alter what you like to get the art look you desire!
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