Most people think it's easy being a photographer. All you have to do it buy an expensive camera, an expensive lens, point, shoot, and then apply a filter, right? Well that may be a good start, but that's no where near the end of it. To be a good photographer, or at least one that people love, you have to be fantastic at post processing. Post processing is part of where the art in photography comes from. The other being framing, posing, camera & lens settings, etc. Artful photography is much more than just point and shoot.
So I'll give you an example. Here's a picture that I took with my Canon 7D Mark II camera with a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens. I always shoot in manual, and I had my camera settings at ISO 100, lens stopped at f/1.8, and shutter speed at 1/640 sec.
Some people would think that this is an average photo, some great. But I saw MAJOR potential with this one. So I took it to Adobe Lightroom, applied a few presets, and did some major touch ups, to include: enhanced irises, whitened eyes, changed skin tone, warmed the skin up, popped the color, took away shadows, lightened up the picture, added highlights, adjusted purple fringing, sharpened the picture, and made it more vibrant. It was a lot of work, but great artistic photography takes time. Look at the result:
After I exported this photo, I decided I wasn't done yet. I've fallen in love with black and white photography. It adds a different layer of drama that color simply cannot achieve. FEEL how much the photograph changes. Though it looks like I just simply took the color away, there's much more to it than that. I could show you 100 black and white edits of the above photograph and every one of them be different. After making my adjustments this was my end result:
So after playing around in Lightroom, I took it one step further: Photoshop. Photoshop is by far one of the hardest programs to master. It's a beast that will make you pull your hair out. But once you tame the beast and learn your way around, you're able to create magic. The little bit of magic I added to this photo is called an overlay. I was able to put this overlay directly on top of the photograph from Lightroom and blend it in, change the colors, and fine tune it to my liking. This is the end result:
So there you have it. Some of you will think the first photograph looked perfectly fine and it didn't need to be edited. If that's you, you're a dying breed. But most of you will pick one of the latter three pictures completed in post processing as your favorite. Hopefully this goes to show the need for professional photographers. So next time you're considering having that family member with a good camera take pictures of your family, or worse, wedding, give me a shout! I'd love to take your pictures and transform them into masterpieces!