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Author Topic: When do you know you're "done" with processing?  (Read 3074 times)

RDMAX

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When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« on: March 07, 2017, 10:24:16 AM »

Feel like I could go on forever with editing...
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hogloff

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 10:31:44 AM »

Whenever that vision you have in your head appears on your monitor...then you are done. If you don't have that vision...you will never be done.
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howardm

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 10:48:14 AM »

That's as good an answer as you're going to get.

It's easy to never be done.  It's hard to put the mouse/stylus down.

And then of course, there's the 'what happens if I process it this way' variation(s).

rdonson

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2017, 12:07:07 PM »

I think Howard nailed it.

It takes me a long time, sometimes months before I feel I've created a "final" version of what I want.  In the process I've created several variations (that I don't delete).  I've even come back after a year and found a software update enabled me to get that final little tweak that put the icing on the cake. 

If you're a stickler for printing you may also get a new printer with a new inkset and new papers become available that sends you back to see if you can tweak things to "perfection".

Obviously if you do this with all your work someone is going to offer you a jacket with wraparound sleeves.
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Ron

howardm

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 12:11:53 PM »

If darkroom work wasn't so long and tedious, I would think the same thing would have happened in the darkroom days.

Messing w images ad-infinitum is both a blessing and curse of digital imagine.

Put the mouse down and pick-up the camera and go shooting.

graeme

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2017, 01:02:19 PM »

If I start getting the feeling that I'm spending a long time on processing an image it's usually a sign that the image isn't good enough in the first place.

I've come to believe that an underworked artwork is a lesser evil than an overworked one.
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rdonson

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 01:21:35 PM »

If darkroom work wasn't so long and tedious, I would think the same thing would have happened in the darkroom days.

Messing w images ad-infinitum is both a blessing and curse of digital imagine.

Put the mouse down and pick-up the camera and go shooting.

I can assure you there was just as much messing around with developing and printing in my darkroom days. 

The messing around in the darkroom or in digital was reserved for those photos I considered worth it. 
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Ron

Thomas Achermann

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2017, 01:47:32 PM »

Visually pleasing - a term from one of the Michael & Jeff videos that works for me...when I look at the image and it is visually pleasing to my eyes, Im done...it might take two minutes or even two hours or it might never get to that stage and I move on.
But with everything on life...your mileage may vary...
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Hoggy

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2017, 03:18:52 PM »

I think the curses are RAW and non-destructive/parametric-editing via the likes of Lightroom and Capture One..  And to a lesser extent, even layers and smart objects in Photoshop allowing for some non-destructiveness.

So many endless possibilities..  And for the most part, usually only 1 file is taken up on the hard drive.  8)


I find myself continuously going through all my art-type images, pretty much A-Z, and doing a few more things to each upon each 'round'.  Over and over and over again - sometimes with new tools in the software.  Of course doing it that way also allows for switching images often -- so I'm not continuously staring at the same image for hours on end.  ...  However..  I only have a little over 3000 art-type images right now.
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Endeavour

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2017, 03:55:20 PM »

when your client stop paying you because you havent handed over the images

If its a personal project, then it may never be 'finished'
Even images in your collection you thought were done from say 5+ years ago, I bet you could load up today as RAWs and process them totally differently believing you can do a way better job.
You evolve every time you work on an image, learn new techniques, get more efficient etc

to paraphrase da Vinci: Art is never finished, only abandoned

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Dominique_R

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2017, 04:23:50 PM »

Whenever that vision you have in your head appears on your monitor...then you are done. If you don't have that vision...you will never be done.

Concur one hundred percent. That's exactly what I meant to answer.
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LeonD

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2017, 05:05:55 PM »

Do a "picture a day" project for a year.  You'll very quickly get good at your picture processing software and good at knowing when to say when.

If not, you'll quickly have no life.   :o
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Peano

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2017, 10:00:34 PM »

The question is meaningless without context. For example:

1. I'm editing a photo that has no client and no particular destination (magazine, private client, whatever). I fiddle around with this, I fiddle around with that, I experiment with the other. This fiddling and experimenting could go on indefinitely, precisely because the image has no client and no destination.

2. I'm editing a photo from a client who intends to publish it in his college alumni magazine, which has a deadline six days from now. This is for former students who will recognize their erstwhile classmates. It isn't a fine art pamphlet, and I face a well-defined window to submit it for publication.

In scenario 2, what tells me I'm done is a) the nature of the viewers (former students who want to recognize old friends), and b) the magazine's deadline: realistic photos within six days. In scenario 1, there are no such restrictions to tell me I'm done. There's nothing to stop me from playing with that image for literally months on end.
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BobShaw

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2017, 01:51:48 AM »

Art is never finished.
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Hoggy

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2017, 02:04:14 AM »

Do a "picture a day" project for a year. You'll very quickly get good at your picture processing software and good at knowing when to say when.

If not, you'll quickly have no life.

Darn - I wish I would've done this beforehand.  I think it's too late for me now.  :-[


Art is never finished.

Well, at least now I don't feel so bad about my neurosis.
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Endeavour

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2017, 12:24:37 PM »

Art is never finished.

there's an echo in here...
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2017, 03:34:07 PM »

I usually stop processing a Raw shot when I put back the tonality, color and dynamics I remember seeing when I pressed the shutter but is lost due to default Raw settings.

I also push these dynamics to compensate for what the print takes away. Below is just one example of what I won't settle for on the left which requires quite a bit of wrangling with a point curve to get the results on the right. In a word I'm going for a sense of presence.
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Wayne Fox

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2017, 01:22:46 PM »

Whenever that vision you have in your head appears on your monitor...then you are done.
Similar for me, but I do print each image to 24x30 and only if the print matches my vision and doesn't have any issues from my post processing am I done, and ready to publish th image to my gallery.

Rand47

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2017, 12:51:40 PM »

I usually stop processing a Raw shot when I put back the tonality, color and dynamics I remember seeing when I pressed the shutter but is lost due to default Raw settings.

I also push these dynamics to compensate for what the print takes away. Below is just one example of what I won't settle for on the left which requires quite a bit of wrangling with a point curve to get the results on the right. In a word I'm going for a sense of presence.

Tim, "Perfect" word, presence.  When I do critiques, and teach, that's the word I use.  Your example is excellent.

I guess I know when I'm done when I feel there's "nothing left on the table" to get from the file vis a vis what I see in my head.

I also think that in addition to "pre-visualization" (at least in terms of what we see in our head that we'd like to see in print or on screen), there is a legitimate "post-visualization" process that comes with digital photography and the great PP tools we have available.  Sometimes, I'll just "see where I can go with this image" - rather than "head in the direction I already feel I want."  For me, those are the times when a lot of time gets invested in an unsure outcome.  But, that's also the time when I tend to learn new things about what can be done in PP (for good or ill!  LOL).

Rand
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: When do you know you're "done" with processing?
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2017, 03:58:20 PM »

Tim, "Perfect" word, presence.  When I do critiques, and teach, that's the word I use.  Your example is excellent.

I guess I know when I'm done when I feel there's "nothing left on the table" to get from the file vis a vis what I see in my head.

I also think that in addition to "pre-visualization" (at least in terms of what we see in our head that we'd like to see in print or on screen), there is a legitimate "post-visualization" process that comes with digital photography and the great PP tools we have available.  Sometimes, I'll just "see where I can go with this image" - rather than "head in the direction I already feel I want."  For me, those are the times when a lot of time gets invested in an unsure outcome.  But, that's also the time when I tend to learn new things about what can be done in PP (for good or ill!  LOL).

Rand

Rand, I can tell you do well by your teachings and criticisms. After over 1000 Raws under my belt I'm convinced post processing can be a curse, a thrill or an addiction. Sometimes all three.

There's also the somewhat agonizing and surprisingly time consuming flip side to making decisions on not editing too much (or very carefully) because sometimes I've been unexpectedly shocked & awed by how good the default Raw appears at first sight even though it looks nothing like what I saw in the original scene. This is why photography is full of surprises.

Usually this occurs shooting macro of unconventional items under poor or available lighting and very narrow DOF that function and look better as abstracts. For instance I've been shooting my kitchen soap bottle bubbles that seem to change or expand I'm assuming according to changes in weather like barometric pressure. Just weird iridescent colors that form a type of '60's psychedelic multicolored ink swirls, the kind projected on walls during rock concerts.

These colorful formations are quite intense and shiny but the default Raw's low dynamics and softness makes them appear like 3D shards of paisley velvet cloth instead of bubbles. It's a look I've never seen before that conveys a creepy and mysterious ambience that I agonize on whether to keep or edit back the original bright shininess.
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