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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Overprocessing or Underprocessing?
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07/22/2002 08:10:33 PM · #1
I have noticed that with this weeks challenge there have been a good deal of posts dealing with the idea of Photoshop processing. Some of them talk about pictures that are overdone. I have recieved some similar comments concerning to much processing and it brought some questions to mind considering that from what I am reading I am processing much less than most people. For examples you just need to go to the "How'd did they do that" section or look at comment on the boards. Consider the Watch from the advertisement challenge (Great Picture, I am not taking away from that nor is this meant to offend in any way) that six steps of processing.

This brought some questions to mind:

1. When people look at something and call it overprocessed, is it or is it rather Underprocessed, and in need of processing advice? I would guess (it is my experience) that it is underprocessed and likely need advice on more processing.

2. Is the site still, primaraly, a site that skill in Photoshop is primaraly important? (I will again refer to the earlier picture, just because I was amazed at the difference between before and after) It seems that the same things can be achieved without filters (some amazing things anyway) but only by those who know the program well. Should we perhaps cut back on Photoshop? Maybe that is the wrong way to go, but providing advice for all 'allowed' funtions would be beter?


Any comment are welcome, specific as well as general concerning the importance of photoshop.
07/26/2002 08:14:33 AM · #2
I will try and revive this once before letting it die. *Bump*
07/26/2002 08:30:07 AM · #3
Can you point us to an example of a photo that people said was overprocessed? If your example is this week's photo it may be best to wait until Monday and revive this thread then.

Thanks,
Terry
07/26/2002 08:33:13 AM · #4
aga

your comments are actually pretty dead-on.

A LOT of ho hum pics on here could be improved by what I would consider a minimal amount of processing.

Primarily Auto Levels and a little sharpen.

So from that perspective, they are ''underprocessed''. And that basic level of skill with an image editor, unless you are a god at getting your shots perfectly balanced straight out of the camera, is actually almost a prequisite for some success in the scoring...

However, on the other side of the coin: overprocessing to the degree of psychedelia is not desireable here, either.

I guess, IMO, the best processing is where it''s effects are subtle and not really recognizable as such, even if a lot of actual processing work went into it.

Do you agree?



Originally posted by Agamemnon:
I have noticed that with this weeks challenge there have been a good deal of posts dealing with the idea of Photoshop processing. Some of them talk about pictures that are overdone. I have recieved some similar comments concerning to much processing and it brought some questions to mind considering that from what I am reading I am processing much less than most people. For examples you just need to go to the "How''d did they do that" section or look at comment on the boards. Consider the Watch from the advertisement challenge (Great Picture, I am not taking away from that nor is this meant to offend in any way) that six steps of processing.

This brought some questions to mind:

1. When people look at something and call it overprocessed, is it or is it rather Underprocessed, and in need of processing advice? I would guess (it is my experience) that it is underprocessed and likely need advice on more processing.

2. Is the site still, primaraly, a site that skill in Photoshop is primaraly important? (I will again refer to the earlier picture, just because I was amazed at the difference between before and after) It seems that the same things can be achieved without filters (some amazing things anyway) but only by those who know the program well. Should we perhaps cut back on Photoshop? Maybe that is the wrong way to go, but providing advice for all ''allowed'' funtions would be beter?


Any comment are welcome, specific as well as general concerning the importance of photoshop.




* This message has been edited by the author on 7/26/2002 8:33:38 AM.
07/26/2002 08:33:15 AM · #5
CJ - I was speaking generally, as an overriding factor, based mostly on peoples posts talking about photoshop. It seems people are talking about not wanting this to be a photoshop driven site, but at the same time it seems it is.

* This message has been edited by the author on 7/26/2002 8:33:38 AM.
07/26/2002 08:48:55 AM · #6
i don''t think it is. mag made a good point, totally overprocessed (unnatural looking) photos don''t usually do very well here.

personally, i think being comfortable performing some basic post-processing is part of digital photography. i consider crop, rotate, resize, unsharpen mask and some basic color, contrast, brightness adjustments basic. now, other''s may consider that excessive, but i think these things don''t detract from the original image and just help make it pop a little. (btw, i learned a lot of that because of this site.)

but i could go for less than that (kind of like the no photoshop suggestion) if that was the consensus.

that would mean though that i wouldn''t have posted a couple of my top rating photos, in particular bad hair day because i played around a lot with contrast and brightness to get the background white. i will post some before and after versions this weekend for comparison.

* This message has been edited by the author on 7/26/2002 8:49:39 AM.
07/26/2002 09:06:29 AM · #7
I suppose I am just getting conflicting opinions on photoshop, both from the boards and from the site rules. Board opinions seem to have some range but put the focus on taking the pictures on the surface, but underneath it seems to be photoshop that is most important. The rules seem to cater to long time photoshop users (this seems to be an overwhelming truth to me)also. After all, as a photoshop beginner you can look at pictures and think "That is a Filter" however for those who know photoshop they can do it without a filter.... seems to only limit those who don't know the program or have it.

I am not overtly saying change it I should point out.

Perhaps some additional tutorials for the things that are allowed on photoshop would be in order? One basic one going through the controls allowed, and many more on fancy tricks people seem able to do. That way people who are being told they are overprocessing, might be able to find out they are underprocessing in actuallity and learn how to do it right.
07/26/2002 09:21:59 AM · #8
Originally posted by Agamemnon:
Perhaps some additional tutorials for the things that are allowed on photoshop would be in order?

I think it would be great if some of the folks here with photoshop (and hopefully some other programs as well) could post some tutorials on the allowed edits with examples of photos where they have used the technique.

I don't use photoshop, but the program I use (ThumbsPlus) should be able to accomplish the same tasks - I just might need to look around a bit more to find the stuff.
07/26/2002 09:35:27 AM · #9
aga do you think you could put together something like that?

:)

07/26/2002 09:43:03 AM · #10
Actually, this was brought about partly because I don't know how to use Photoshop. =)
07/26/2002 09:43:25 AM · #11
Here''s one link I was able to quickly access in my favorites list. Adobe Photoshop Tutorial I''m just learning photoshop too (very slowly), but it''s important to point out that while it is a good tool in comparison to my other image editing software, the photo still looking like a photo is still the most important thing here.


* This message has been edited by the author on 7/26/2002 9:43:14 AM.
07/26/2002 10:05:37 AM · #12
Originally posted by Karen Bryan:
Here''s one link I was able to quickly access in my favorites list. Adobe Photoshop Tutorial I''m just learning photoshop too (very slowly), but it''s important to point out that while it is a good tool in comparison to my other image editing software, the photo still looking like a photo is still the most important thing here.

I think I might disagree about the photo LOOKING like a photo. I think how the photograph ends up looking is inconsequential. How it was acheived should be the point.

By limiting photoshop edits I think we do the beginner a agreat service. They learn solid camera handling technique and..(this is the more important part of my point) they learn that a lot of the tricks you see being used in photoshop can be accomplished in the camera, even a pinhole camera.

Sometimes those photos may not look like your normal 3D photo, breaking with the realm of absolute reality..but that is a good thing I think IF the work was done with the photographer snapping the aperature shut as one of, if not THE last parts of the process.



* This message has been edited by the author on 7/26/2002 10:05:58 AM.
07/26/2002 10:10:47 AM · #13
Yes, you are right. And said more eloquently. I think I meant that too. Looking like a photo meaning not digital art.... yes?
07/26/2002 10:46:26 AM · #14
Sounds like a perfect idea for a challenge to me! :)

No processing outside of the camera - enter your photo 'as is'

I know this is the wrong forum, but what do you think?
07/26/2002 10:56:44 AM · #15
Originally posted by cthenk:
Sounds like a perfect idea for a challenge to me! :)

No processing outside of the camera - enter your photo ''as is''

I know this is the wrong forum, but what do you think?


Some cameras take great images straight out of the camera. Some cameras leave the images a little soft or a little undersaturated so that the photographer can fool with it later to get it exactly where they want it, rather than everything being a predetermined sharpness, saturation and contrast. I don''t think that the amount of skill it takes to know how to crop and sharpen a picture is a significant disadvantage for people. Pretty much all I know how to do in PS is crop, levels, hue/saturation, and sharpen, but it definitely enhances my pictures.

If you don''t know how, there are plenty of people here willing to help you out, as well as tons of web tutorials on the subject.

It seems to have a ''camera only'' challenge is just sort of cutting out the opportunity to learn as well as needlessly eliminating a simple possibility for improving a photograph. It seems to me like it''s just part of the process, and disallowing it is arbitrary. Like having a ''no tripod allowed'' challenge or something.



* This message has been edited by the author on 7/26/2002 10:57:34 AM.
07/26/2002 10:58:42 AM · #16
I also fully agree that the limits that are imposed on "Photoshopping" are beneficial to the new user. Most people I have observed who are new to Photoshop typically apply filters until they think the photo looks good. I was told something one time that stuck with me to this day:

Do not use a filter without a specific result in mind.

Filters can be used appropriately to improve the aspects of a photograph. But it is much easier to destroy the original beauty of a photograph with them.

The bottom line is that any processing done in Photoshop should be so subtle that the viewer wonders if Photoshop was used at all. Making a digital photograph look digital is not the desired result.
07/26/2002 11:00:21 AM · #17
and to add what kimbly said, it limits the output of people with lower end cameras .. in other words, to get my dc50 pic to look close to as good as your d60, i might need photoshop.

in other words, the small level of photo editing we are allowed helps to level the playing field.....
07/26/2002 11:27:24 AM · #18
Speaking as someone with a DSC-P50, I agree mag. Unfortunately I really screwed up this time and submitted a photo that was probably way overdone. I've gotten good and bad comments about it but I liked the final version...it seems a little harsh when I go back and look at it now.

Photoshop and the legal edits we can make are sometimes my only hopes of entering a nice photo that I like but isn't so great in sharpness or levels.
07/26/2002 11:55:06 AM · #19
stuff
07/26/2002 11:59:53 AM · #20
Originally posted by KDJohnson:
stuff
Looks like a good link, Karen...
Thanks for sharing!



07/26/2002 12:30:03 PM · #21
I was curious - is solorizing or changing the color completely allowed?
I think I saw one of these somewhere
07/26/2002 12:43:15 PM · #22
excellent article KD. im printing it out! : )
07/26/2002 12:53:20 PM · #23
Originally posted by TerryGee:
I was curious - is solorizing or changing the color completely allowed?
I think I saw one of these somewhere


I think the word is still out on whether or not this should be allowed. In the meantime, I'd say that if you have such an image go ahead and use it. It would be risky, though. While it may be allowed, I am not sure how well it would score. Some ppl may gig you for it.
07/26/2002 12:54:08 PM · #24
Originally posted by cthenk:
Sounds like a perfect idea for a challenge to me! :)

No processing outside of the camera - enter your photo 'as is'

I know this is the wrong forum, but what do you think?


Actually, I was thinking the opposite... Have a 'mini-challenge' where PS guru's all take a photo from a challenge that could be improved with PS (with the photographer's blessing of course) and see what can be done with it...

To this end, I offer any shot I've ever submitted for this 'mini-challenge'... I'm certain from the comments they've gotten, they would be good choices for "Being Fixed"... :)
07/26/2002 12:56:40 PM · #25
I think we're in danger of throwing out the baby with the bathwater here. Instead of abandoning Photoshop, let's learn to use what we need for this site. I confess that I've made a lot of comments this week on over (or under) processing. With texture as a subject, a person naturally wants his photo to be as sharp as possible, so they run it through the Sharpen filter it seems like 50 times, or crank up the dials on Unsharp Mask way too high. Also, I think a lot of people over compress their pictures so a good portion of the detail is lost in JPEG artifacts. On the other hand, digital cameras tend to produce somewhat soft photos so a little sharpening is needed, and sometimes just a little Curves or Levels with give the colors the 'punch' to turn a so-so picture into a great one.
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