Photography is a wonderful art that allows us to capture beautiful moments and create lasting memories. But the process doesn’t end with just clicking the shutter button. After taking the picture, there are important steps called “post production” and “post processing” that play a crucial role in making the photos look even more incredible.
In photography, “post-production” and “post-processing” refer to the stages that come after the photo shoot is finished. These stages involve editing and enhancing your photos to achieve the final result, making them ready for online sharing or sending to your clients.
What is Post Production in Photography?
Post-production in photography is the finishing touch after completing the photoshoot. Once you’ve finished your photoshoot session, you need to choose the best photos and then edit them to make them look more professional and polished.
A photographer can take many photos in a professional way, but to fulfill the clients’ requirements, some editing or retouching may be necessary. For example, you may shoot photos in RAW format, but clients might want to receive images in JPG format with specific crops. In such cases, post-production becomes essential.
Sometimes, a photographer might want to create something entirely new and unique. This is when post-production gets really exciting! They can combine different images or add special effects to make their pictures stand out. It’s like turning your photos into a piece of art.
What is Post Processing in Photography?
Post-processing refers to all the photo editing steps done after a photoshoot to prepare the images for online display or printing. It is a specific aspect of post-production where photographers utilize computer software like Photoshop or Lightroom to enhance their digital photos.
When photographers capture pictures with a digital camera, the images are saved in a special format known as “raw.” These raw photos require some adjustments to bring out their best qualities. Post-processing allows photographers to fine-tune the pictures, making them shine like polished gems.
Imagine taking a picture of a beautiful sunset, but it appears somewhat dull on your camera screen. Post-processing helps you recapture all the vibrant colors you saw with your own eyes, so the photo looks just as stunning as the real-life scene.
What are the steps of post-processing in photography?
Post-processing is a creative journey in photography. To establish yourself as a professional photographer, you also need to be an expert in post-processing. In photography, post-processing can vary depending on the photography style and the desired final outcomes. However, here is a general outline of common post-processing steps in photography:
Culling and Selecting
After completing the photoshoot, the first step is to review all the images and select the best ones. Delete any duplicates, blurry shots, or images with significant technical issues. For event photography, you may need to delete many photos and carefully choose the perfect shots. On the other hand, for product photography, you may not need to take many extra photos but will need to thoroughly check them after the photoshoot.
White Balance and Exposure Adjustment
Ensure that the colors and exposure of the selected images are accurate. Adjust the white balance to make sure the colors look natural and pleasing. You can use Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, which are great tools for fixing and adjusting colors.
Color Correction and Grading
Make basic adjustments to enhance the overall image quality. This includes adjusting contrast, brightness, clarity, and vibrancy to make the photo more visually appealing. Fine-tune the colors to achieve the desired look and mood. This step is especially important for creating a consistent style in a series of images. Apply appropriate sharpening techniques to enhance image details. Reduce noise in images, especially those taken in low-light conditions.
Remove any distracting elements or imperfections from the image. This may include blemishes, dust spots, or unwanted objects. Retouching photos is an important step in post-processing photography. You need to achieve precise retouching for the desired result. Over-retouching can damage the images, so when you do it, pay attention to the details of the image and polish it perfectly.
Crop and Straighten
Crop the images if needed to improve composition or remove distractions. Straighten any tilted horizons or lines. Cropping is often required, especially when shooting product photos. Your clients may provide you with a specific image size and canvas size, and you need to maintain it.
Final Review and Export
After finishing all editing tasks, review the edited images to ensure everything looks as intended. Then, export the images in the appropriate file format (e.g., JPEG, TIFF) and resolution for their intended use (e.g., web, print). There are some things we need to keep in mind: 72dpi is good for online presentations, while 300dpi is suitable for prints.
What Tools Do You Use for Post-Processing?
When it comes to post-processing in photography, there are no tools that can beat Adobe Creative Cloud, especially Photoshop and Lightroom. For professionals, using Lightroom and Photoshop is more than enough to do tremendous work on their photos, covering everything from A to Z in the post-processing journey.
Why Is Post Processing Important in photography?
Post-processing is vital in photography because it enables photographers to take their raw captures and transform them into polished and impactful images. During the post-processing stage, photographers can correct exposure issues, adjust color balance, and enhance details to achieve the desired final result.
Moreover, post-processing allows photographers to correct imperfections, remove distractions, and refine composition, resulting in professional-looking images that captivate viewers. Ultimately, post-processing is essential that empowers photographers to elevate their work, deliver stunning visuals, and leave a lasting impression on their audience.
In this article, I have endeavored to describe what post-production and post-processing entail in photography. These processes allow photographers to express their vision, correct imperfections, and elevate the overall quality of their photographs.
Moreover, post-production and post-processing ensure that the images reach their full potential, irrespective of the environment in which they are presented. Whether displayed online, in print, or in galleries, the photographs will radiate brilliance and clarity.