Post-Processing – Why it Matters

Darktable is open source software that runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux

Darktable is open source software that runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux

Ultimately it’s fantastic when I can catch an image that doesn’t need to be touched in any way, but that almost never happens.  So over the years I’ve likely spent hundreds of hours, off and on, post-processing photos that I myself, or others, have taken. I actually enjoy it. I can’t produce near the quality someone who does it for a living can, but I’ve certainly improved over the years.

I don’t always share my work of course. I mean everyone who takes pictures knows that not everything you shoot ends up available to someone else. Sometimes our work is just garbage, and we want people to see the best work, not the worst. This image is one that I wouldn’t have shared outside my home, except I wanted to share why I believe it’s important to at least get some grip on editing photos if you’re interested in taking them.

When you shoot hundreds or even thousands of pictures in an outing, you’re likely to get stuff that you like. But every once in a while something happens, and nothing turns out. That was the case here.

We had taken our family to the Mill City Museum for a day of learning about flour mill history. When we go these places with our special needs guy, we are virtually required to take a friend, or friends, with us so that we can take turns doing 1 to 1 coverage and care of him while still being able to teach, share, and play with our other kids.

I typically shoot on full manual. I tend to take a few shots, adjust the camera for the environment, and then work with that setup in an area, making minor adjustments with each shot as I take them. I enjoy the added challenge of getting a picture this way. Very rarely do I put my camera in fully auto mode.

I had just been shooting inside the museum for over an hour. I was setup with 1000 ISO, and large aperture (low setting), trying to achieve reasonable  shutter speeds without a flash. As we walked outside, one of the folks with us thought the background would make for a good place to take a family shot, and without thinking, I just handed her the camera.

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