The Power of Post-Production

After more than 20 years of being a professional tourism photographer, it’s only now – largely as a result of the time I’ve served in lockdown – that I discovered there’s so much more I can do to improve my photographs in post-production.

And, with this, has come the somewhat belated revelation that what I do to edit my photos is just as important as whatever I’ve done to capture them in the first place.

Truth be told, finding the time to study advanced post-production techniques has largely escaped me until now as my work has tended to involve me rushing from destination to destination, with clients eager for a quick turn-around of their promotional images.

But, what I’ve come to realise is that, sometimes, photographs just need to be left to sit for a while before being edited. Time alone can certainly change your perspective but, in my case, diving down the rabbit-hole of post-production has not only changed the photographs I’ve returned to work on, it’s profoundly changed the way I intend to approach my photography in future.

As I’ve written in recent posts, my lessons have come largely through the “University of Yu-Tube” which has introduced me to a range of advanced post-production techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop. Over several months, I’ve been applying what I’ve learned to photos exhumed from my archives, before adding them to my commercial photo library. It’s a process I’ve enjoyed, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the results, so-much-so that when I return to my wandering, I plan to shift my attention and focus on producing more emotive, sensual imagery that is likely to capture the mood of a destination and provide a more intimate portrayal of the people I meet.

Here’s a few photographs of Myanmar which I pulled from the archives and worked on, with thumbnails of the raw files at the bottom for reference. The post-production techniques I’ve applied – particularly the colour grading – demonstrates where I’m heading. In short, I expect my photography to become more documentary in appearance (though more of an interpretation of the subject than just a record) with a stronger emphasis on producing aesthetically pleasing images.

It’s an exciting shift I’m looking forward to…….once I’m in the air again.

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Following are thumbnails of the raw files to show you where the pics started from, and a link to the earlier post I wrote about colour grading:

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A successful promotional photograph starts with knowing what you want it to say and who you want it to appeal to - before you even bring the camera to your eye.

 

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