Polishing by post-processing
I post-process my photos. Professionals do it, why shouldn’t I, an enthusiast. Even they who capture near perfect shots still subject their images to editing. It’s their job to be perfectionists; nothing matters but the best outcome, output and result. And that’s one thing that differentiates professionals from us mere mortals, they put attention to details – from capture to presentation. From the moment they pressed the shutter, they have already envisioned the shot, to the time they review the image to tweak the color, adjust tones, improve brightness and contrast, sharpen edges and other host of details during image editing, they are just following their normal workflow.
I am no professional but I follow their standard workflow and have my own set of process. But unlike professionals, I am not working to satisfy clients; I work on my images to satisfy myself. Because in doing so I know I will satisfy my audience when I present the image to the world. And for me, every image I process is an activity of trying to outdo myself, to reach another level of improvement, to elevate my craftsmanship guided by all the accumulated knowledge from years of photographing. One lesson that I learned is that we don’t take perfect photos and, in fact, there are no perfect photos. Hence, we have the tools of image editing softwares to try to simulate perfection, even on a rudimentary level. A polished image is not possible during the moment of capture. We may praise to high heavens the exactness of our composition, creativity, exposure and technical prowess at the time we pressed the shutter. Yet a polished image will always be a result of our meticulous attention in providing the “oomph” and the “aah” during post-processing. In photography, it’s what we call the X factor.