One of the advantages of digital photography over film is what the medium offers in terms of post-production. In fact, I’d say that you are not making the most of digital photography unless you are using post-production of some sort on all shots. It’s true that some photographers shy away from it, aligning it with the techniques of trick photography and image manipulation, but, unlike film, the process of taking a digital photograph is about recording data. Post-production is taking control over how that data is represented.
If this makes it sound purely technical, it isn’t meant to. In fact, the main attraction of digital photography for me back in around 2001 was that it offered the opportunity to work on images with eyes open in the way I had previously worked blind in the darkroom. Just the idea of being able to see the digital equivalents of burning in and dodging (allowing greater and lesser amounts of light to fall on photographic paper during the printing process) was enough to get me excited in the medium. Later came the joys of the histograms and channels and working with layers to blend and mix images.
It’s a few of these techniques that I’ll be considering in the following articles. They are not ‘how to’ tutorials; more thoughts about why and when to adopt them. Although I’m an advocate of using post-production, my general philosophy is that less is more. It’s about creating an image that reflects your perception and impression of a given place or scene; not one that disguises it.