Photography is an art, through his images the photographer can communicate his vision, his message. This is surely obtained with his eyes, when he catches the moment, form his personal point of view, and managing the light at his best. But it’s not all about that. Another step is needed, and this is the post production process. It’s not something new: even in the past, the film age, photographers spent a lot of time in their darkroom (“Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.” – Ansel Adams). Nowadays maybe it’s a bit simpler, we have tools – such as Photoshop and many others – which are extremely powerful, and allow us to make incredible things.
Post production is “sector specific”, so rules and techniques for fashion photography are different from the ones for advertising or wedding photography. Then, there’s the photographer style and his vision. Our goal here it’s not to describe everything in detail. Our goal is just to make clear how editing is important to the final output, how much time it takes in particular for weddings and other events with thousands (and thousands!) of photos shot in a day.
Basic editing usually consists in cropping, adjusting white balance, exposure and contrast, color saturation, spot cleaning. Each photo passes through these basic adjustments. But it’s with the advanced editing that the photographer expresses his own style, and this is about applying tonal curves, selective adjustments, converting to black and white, split toning and other color management techniques to reveal the desired atmosphere and mood for our images.
Shooting a wedding usually takes not less than 12-14 hours. But…it’s just the tip of the iceberg! You can’t imagine how many days are later spent on selecting and editing the images!