It is very tempting to think that post-processing in photography is something disconnected from the rest of the photographic process, and particularly so from the capture of images in the field. Perhaps due to that ‘post’ prefix, or maybe because of the connotations suggested by the ‘processing’ term, many photographers think that post-processing is totally dissociated from the ‘real’ photography that only happens when we have a camera in our hands. Some photographers might even prefer leaving post-processing to other professionals, considering it something menial that can be carried out in an automatic way with barely any need for personal input.
The truth, however, is that post-processing should not be considered a separate step in photography, but rather as the continuation, or should we say culmination, of a whole photographic process which started the moment we had an idea in our mind that we wanted to capture in a photograph.
In the old analog days, it was well embedded in the minds of photographers, and the public alike, that a photograph did not exist until the print was made. In fact, every other step in the photographic process was just an intermediate step towards the materialization of the photograph as a piece of printed paper. In those days, photographers printed their photographs – they didn’t merely amass a collection of negatives. The negative was just the tool used to print the final photograph. Therefore, this printing process was rarely regarded as a simple and straightforward task devoid of creative input from the photographer. Dodging, burning, using different contrast papers and filters, masking – all of these tricks and tools were used... [vision_notification style="tip" font_size="20px"]Read the whole article inside issue 67.[/vision_notification]