Playing around in post… and thinking…

This evening I was thinking about my upcoming trip to Ontario to photograph the Gales of November. I’ve never done anything like this before… I wanted to… I want to… but I thought that I would get to assist someone else before it was my turn to step up to the plate. Now, I’m not worried about producing great images. I’ve got quite a few ideas, and in the end I feel like it will all come down to conditions and time. What I am worried about is all of the other stuff that transpires that is not directly related to creating the image, but is essential to the image making process.

Things like getting to the site of the event, feeding myself, lodging, equipment insurance, etc… Who is going to pay for these things. I’ve been told that I will receive a $100 travel premium and I’m sure that’s not going to cover my expenses. Part of me doesn’t care as this is one of those opportunities that I can’t pass up… and I get to go kayaking. However, another part of me knows that doing jobs like this isn’t a sustainable business model. What I’m hoping to glean are those things that would make this employment path sustainable.

Also, I was thinking about the fact that the information I received concerned with delivering my images has me providing the RAW files. Now, I totally understand wanting to see the RAW file to make sure that images weren’t fabricated and that the photographer is doing their job with the camera and not in photoshop. However, the RAW files will need to be processed and I am not comfortable letting someone else do my processing. And part of me isn’t really that comfortable letting someone else crop my image, as that too changes the story that the image tells. I should have control of the way that my images are presented. Good or bad… it should ultimately fall on me.

Hopefully I am just naive and most of these issues will be cleared up once I talk to the editor.

Anyway, with that in mind… what do you guys think of the images below? This first one is the original image… more or less. I’m sure that when I originally processed it there were some black and white point adjustments, a curves adjustment to add some contrast, and probably a little tweaking of the colors. Not totally sure on those, but those are my typical goto’s when in photoshop or lightroom.

The second image is something I worked up this evening pretty quick-like. While looking at it this time I felt it was a little “cool”. So, I warmed it up a little, bumped the colors and the contrast, and added a little creative vignette which most of you probably wouldn’t/don’t even notice.

So, I guess what I would like to know is which one you like the most and why? Does that fact that I goosed one in photoshop bother you? When you saw the photo at the top did you think, “That has to be photoshopped”?

Please feel free to leave any other comments…


4 thoughts on “Playing around in post… and thinking…


    I like the second image better. I agree that the warmer tone improves the shot and a little color adjustment doesn't make the image scream "shopped". Photoshop is just the new darkroom, If you aren't completely fabrication your images on the computer I think it is fair game. Where would most of the great film photographers be without a few darkroom tricks.

  2. Belinda

    I agree with the above comments, whom I assume to be Matt. 🙂

    Have you seen the recent issue of Outside? Has some interesting comments about Photoshopping images. What you did isn't anything out of the ordinary – just made a good image look even better. Well done with the panning, btw.

  3. Ene

    I think the Ontario opportunity is awesome, Greg. Yes, you're not doing it for $$ but it gets your name and photos out there. Interesting questions you pose about control over your own photos. I hope the editor is helpful. Is there anyone out there who has been in your position that you could tap for info.
    And, p.s., I like the second image too – warmer, makes the bicycler stand out.

  4. Greg

    Personally, I've accepted the fact that lightroom or photoshop are now just part of the process. There isn't an image in print that didn't have some kind of post processing done to it. Also, I'm totally fine with doing whatever is necessary to produce the image that you see in your head.

    To me photoshop is just as important as lens or aperture choice. It's a tool to help you communicate with the viewer. I feel that as long as you are open about your process… do whatever you want.

    It's when people start trying to pass off digital composites as photos that things start to get messy.

    Photoshop is necessary in today's world of photography. But how far is too far? In certain situations I don't think there is a "Too Far", but in others there is.

    What criteria do you use to decide these things?

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