Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Before and after

Some people argue using photoshop, lightroom or other similar photo editing software is a cheap trick to make bad photography look better.
The thing I found (as goes for the people who bash horsemanship training practices) is they have never tried it, do not know what it is about and are jumping to conclusions.

These images you see here would have been disregarded if it were not for the wonderful technology of image editing software. I do not claim to be an expert at this, I do what simply looks best. It can be a lot of fun, or a lot of frustration.

Roll your mouse over each edited image to see the before.

And another.

See the difference? What do you prefer?
Who can spot what I did with one of the image sets. Hmm tricky, tricky. (Don't post if you have already seen the "original, original" let others guess.)

Sometimes I post SOOC (Strait out of camera) images but most of the time there are small changes made or just a signature added.
I also shoot in RAW (RAW is basically a digital negative and it needs to be processed in light room or similar program before it can be viewed as a JPG or other image file type) so I have to process every image I take. I use lightroom and photoshop but I have been known time to time when in a pinch to use the free software on this handy dandy site Picnik. If you don't want to spend the couple hundred $$ on photo editing software it might be worth it to pay for premium Picnik. If you are just puttering around it's far more worth your money to use this neat site. Check it out.

What photo editing software do you use? Or are you a SOOC person?


Crystal said...

Wow i can sure see the difference, especially with the second one, zoomed in and straightened.

I am ussually to lazy to photoshop my pictures so I use them sooc, but I have used piknic and its pretty cool.

Jeni said...

almost always sooc as I am completely uncreative. However I do have the full Adobe Photoshop suite and have been known to use it a time or two.

GunDiva said...

I'm totally SOOC - for the most part. I use photobucket to watermark my pictures, but that's all I do. Mostly because my husband's Mac scares the daylights out of me and I'd have to use it for Photoshop.

Rebecca said...

I use GIMP, its a free editing software a lot like photoshop. I love it. Sometimes the most subtle of changes can make a huge difference.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

For the past 6 months or so I've been only a SOOC camera person. I think it challenges me to really focus on composition, angles, and the photo I want, as well as to implement more manual settings on my little point and shoot. It's challenging for sure, but lots of fun to see what I can produce.

That being said, I had a Picnik subscription for a year and LOVED it. Of course I spent way way way too much time on it tweaking and fixing photos, but the end results were usually worth it.
I especially miss the cloning tool...sigh.

Anyway, I think photo editing has it's place, just as using photo SOOC does, too.
Most importantly, though, I do think it's very important for skillful photographers not to become so independant on editing software that they forget the basics.


Mare said...

I've never been a SOOC person, I had a program that was cheap and hard to use but I had completely mastered it, and then I discovered Picnik (which isn't bad with a premium membership), and then I was lucky to have an opportunity to use CS4 and CS5...I love Picnik for the easy stuff and CS5 for when it gets a little trickier...but then recently, I've been working on getting better pictures and have just been a SOOC girl...

lisa said...

Pretty cool! I just like to take pictures, and I will touch them up just a little to make them look older or brighter, love to have them look just plain original. You have a good day.

Mellimaus said...

Such amazing photos :) It depends on the picture, whether I edit it or not. I use picnik when I do. I took a photoshop class in school...and was completely lost the entire semester. :P I guess it's just beyond me. So I stick with picnik ;)

Laura M. said...

I try to shoot SOOC, habit since I stuck with film for so long. For editing though, I do have GIMP and tend to use it to smooth out color balances. I love the vignetting on your first "after" photo though, very subtle and adds a LOT to the image.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I have a point-and-shoot Canon that I use for most of my blog photos. I love it, because I can grab it to take those fleeting moments before they disappear without having to mess around with settings, and upload the .JPGs without processing.

I also have my Nikon, which I shoot in RAW and spend hours processing each image in Capture One and Photoshop. I have literally spent nearly a month on one set of photos, because each time I think I'm done making changes, I zoom in and see another problem I want to fix... everything from poop piles in the shadows to snot marks in the horse's fur. Realistically, I don't have the time to post-process every image, but I'm learning all the amazing things you can do in Photoshop.

Michaela said...

I love what you did to the second one!
And I, too, have been known to fix my photos, usually due to bad light exposure.
I use Paint Shop Pro mostly because I have used it for a long time and know how to. It is inexpensive compared to Adobe products and I find it more user-friendly. I've tried using Adobe before and just sit and stare- it;s so different from PSP!

allhorsestuff said...

I'm not able to curse over the photos...yet (on my cell reading) but will later.
If on a ride...I usually have to darken the all the movement / higher iso make them washed out.

But, generally, when I take a photo...I spend the time getting it right (usually 1 -2 out of 6 are worthy) it takes time!

achieve1dream said...

I use automatic settings on my camera because I don't know how to use the manual settings. I would love to learn how but I'm not one of those who learns well out of a book. I need someone to actually show me how.

I also like auto because I can take a bunch of pictures and not have to worry about setting up for the shot, especially when the horses or dogs are playing.

I use GIMP to edit. I have to resize every single picture I take because my camera take them at 5000 or more pixels. Huge! I don't know how to set it to make them smaller and I'm not sure I would want it to since I like the option of leaving it big. I also use it to edit lighting, desaturate, clean up backgrounds, etc. I don't know what I would do without GIMP. Besides I never claimed to be a professional photography so no one can bash my use of an editor. :) Besides, using GIMP I can get sixty to seventy percent of really good pictures instead of thirty or forty percent of decent ones with a few really good ones.

CTG Ponies said...

Sometimes I use photos SOOC but most times I tweak them a little bit. I have some of my favorite photos that were so-so images that completely popped with a little bit of editing. And I use the premium version of Picnik. It does some really cool stuff.

Merri said...

I like both versions of that first image! I use PS, as minimally as possible... and I rarely shoot RAW. I consider that sort of SOOC... especially when I don't do any adjusting in PS.
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Janice said...

Hmm that was interesting. I liked the first one altered and I liked the second one as was.To each their own I say.

robinsnest3 said...

Hey Syd...just catching up with my blog reading, and RAW + Adobe Lightroom are my tools of choice. Talk to professionals, and they'll tell you photography is 50% SOOC and 50% photo editing. Ansel Adams and all the greats who used film were doing the exact same thing as PhotoShop/Lightroom. They were just doing it with chemicals. :)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin