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TKE 07: Overcoming the challenges in post processing skills - The Photography Express

TKE 07: Overcoming the challenges in post processing skills

Today I am answering part 1 of my audience’s two-part question and it is related to overcoming challenges in post processing skills. In the next TKE, I’ll answer his 2nd part question and that is which software to use for post processing. He specifically mentioned 2 products that he is currently using. Paint shop pro 6 and Perfect Photo Suite so we’ll talk about that as well. So stay tune in next week’s TKE post.

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For now, let me answer what challenges people normally face when they start their post processing journey. In my honestly opinion, technique and using the different tools inside the program aren’t the hardest part. Managing WORKFLOW to me is the most challenging skills to learn especially when I first began using Adobe Lightroom. Let me explain why:

1) Systemize your post processing workflow

It is critical to systemize your workflow before you began working on your photographs. That means storing your photos probably, keywording your photographs for categorization purposes, star rating your photos for easy filtering, as well as backing up your data using the 3-2-1 method (that means storing 3 copies of your data in 2 different types of media with 1 copy in a different location).

You may wonder why? is this even post processing? Do I even need to do this?

The answer is NO you don’t need to do all these but YES THIS IS part of the post processing skills.

If you can develop a habit of systemizing the workflow like the 4 things I mentioned above, you have nailed the most challenging part of post processing skills.

So in order to overcome this challenge, next time after your photo shoot do the following:

1) store your photos in the destination folder that you will be working on.

2) Store 2 extra copies to 2 different external hard drive locations.

3) Burn a disk to back up your copies (if you have too many files upload them to an online storage website mentioned below)

4) Take one of your external hard drives to your friend’s house. (just in case anything happened in your house)

5) Keyword and star rating your photographs. You can learn them starting in my tutorial one here

For external storage, try the drobo. I do not currently owned one but I have repeatedly heard good recommendations from top photographers. If cost is an issue I recommend utilizing an online storage site such as Carbonite.

2) Don’t over-edit your photographs

The second thing you may find challenging  (again I am not going over the technical aspects yet) is over-editing your photographs. Have you ever look in Flickr, Pinterest or Facebook and found a photograph that just looked too fake?

A photograph with grass looks like neon green or the sky is just too blue to be true? I have seen it many times. I totally respect people who did this purposely but if it is to a point where you are taking a photograph just to do heavy duty post processing later on, I think it defeats the purpose of photography.

I am not perfect and sometimes I make this mistake as well. But I just want you to be careful not to overdo the post processing in your photographs. There are many things you can over-do, but my best recommendation for you is do not over-do the contrast in your photographs. This is one of the mistakes i’ve seen all the time (as well as what i’ve done wrong all the time).

3) Learn HSL and Adjustment brush VERY WELL

More on the technical side this time. If you are using Adobe Lightroom, learn how to use the HSL and adjustment brush VERY WELL. This terms sounds very technical to me when I first started and I was avoiding to learn these skills.

But once you get onto it they are actually not that hard. Instead of writing another paragraph on how to use HSL and adjustment brush, click here for the free tutorials.

In summary, the technical aspect of post processing is not as hard as learning the workflow. It may takes you some time to adjust to this workflow but once you get the hang of it you’ll be amazing how much it can do for your photography skills.

I hope I answered your question. Be sure to check out next week in TKE on the different type of software for post processing.

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About Gary

A passionate photographer with goals to fulfill your photography passion and motivate you to take pictures even when life is busy!