Adam Perfect


Learning to leave a photograph alone

I make sure to set all my cameras to save files in RAW format, giving me the most leeway in post-processing. I worry though, that it can lead to me post-processing some files that just don’t need it. 

For most photographs, I do want to apply some level of post-processing, even if just to re-apply the excellent Fujifilm film simulations that I saw through the viewfinder, to the raw data.

Sometimes though, opening up a file in Lightroom I love it as it is. And yet, I find myself feeling a need to do something, anything to the image before sharing it.

At the time, I often do realise I should potentially leave the image well alone, but end up with some form of “well, I’ll just try some light touches in case” and then disappear down the post-processing rabbit hole.

I find this happens most often with low contrast images. I love a beautiful low contrast image when viewing others’ work, but seem to be incapable of leaving that soft low contrast alone in my own.

I don’t have any solutions to this problem beyond applying more self-control and perhaps walking away when I notice the urge to unnecessarily process, even maybe adding a keyword or colour tag reminder in Lightroom.

All things to try.

This is more a documentation for myself: a marker that I’m aware of a behaviour I’d like to change and I can hopefully come back at some point in the future with some method or action that helps me correct my natural tendency to start moving those sliders.

One thing that may help, and something I want to do more of anyway, is to do print proofs. Printing is a great way to find the flaws in an image, but printing early when I think I might not need to add any editing could also help sense-check that feeling.

Time will tell…

Written by Adam on

Adam is a Director of User Experience by day and photographer as time allows.

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