Post Processing

I’m not a straight out of the camera (SOOC) kind of guy. I love post processing almost as much as shooting. While there are several definitions, I like photographer Jeff Harmon’s. Post processing is using a process to transform photos from what was captured in a camera either to be closer to what our eyes saw, or to alter the image artistically. Before the digital age it was darkroom magic. Now it’s done on a computer.

I’d like to take you through the post processing I used on a recent photo. Here’s the original shot “right out of the camera”.
hestia
Not much impact, but I knew I had something with the subject’s gesture mirroring the figure in the foreground of the mural. My next step was to apply tone-mapping to enhance the detail in the highlights and shadows. Which looked like this.
post2.1
Now it was time to crop and straighten the image so the subject is more prominent.
post2.2
Now we’re getting somewhere. Close . . . but still not what I’m seeing. That light stanchion obscures the figure in the foreground of the mural which is what really makes the photo work. It was a long tedious process to remove it and rebuild the mural behind it. I need a lot more practice with this kind of stuff, but this is what I ended up with.
post2.3
I then added the Oscar Wilde quotation “Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life” to tie it all together.

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