For photographers who learned their trade (or hobby) in the pre-digital age, the camera and its film were everything. While you could get very clever professional film that added colour pop to your images, high contrast or low light, you had also a degree of control when the film was being developed.

For example, it was better to slightly overexpose your photograph when shooting on film. Due to the high density of layers of photo sensitive chemical in film, that recorded extra detail.

Nowadays with digital, the opposite is true. If you 'blow out' your image by letting too much light past the sensor in a digital camera, the detail is gone - forever.

However, what you do have today is the availability a lot of 'post production' computer software that allows you to do everything and much more than film processing could do. There is even software available for handheld devices, including smartphones.

We have photography in RAW format today. (See my earlier article on this). Effectively, what RAW does is allow you to re create the whole image you took from a light perspective. It is not a format you can take to the printer. It needs to be developed.

But for this post production work a great deal of computer software is available at your fingertips. While users of the highly expensive Adobe Photoshop CS suite are dedicated and hard core, the great technology available in Photoshop is also distilled down in a number of much cheaper packages that are uber user-friendly as well. Probably the best of these is Adobe Photoshop Elements, which contains multiple technical 'hand me downs' from Photoshop CS - at a fraction of the price.

The post production phase of photography is split into two components:
  • Image workflow and archiving software - for example Photoshop Lightroom, an expensive system, and the Organiser software found in Elements. Most of this software allows the user to make various light and colour related adjustments but does not allow the user to apply filters or to alter the photograph beyond that.
  • The second stage is the full edit. That is where Photoshop CS, and the host of other image editing software I mentioned, comes in. This stage allows the user to add or remove people, change the landscape, correct distortion, etc. The classic meaning of a 'Photoshopped' image.
Of course, the final stage is the presentation or publishing of the image - be it on Facebook, as a print, or in a printed book.

I'm a competent user of Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Elements. Together, they meet all my needs as a professional photographer - including weddings or architecture.

Give me a shout if you need some lessons or coaching with these systems. You can improve your photographic results by 100% Up to now, my clients have been very satisfied.

COST: Please discuss your specific requirements with me, but the basic cost is R 1600 for two coaching sessions of approximately two hours duration.


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