Patterns, Lines and Layers
Since digital photography emerged along with continuous improvement in computing power the photographer got more and more and also easier to use tools to post process the pictures “to taste“.
Thus it is no surprise that the web is full of images that actually show the capabilities of software tools and the skills of the users. Likewise you will find various, but nontheless very informative “behind” articles – behind the scenes, behind the shot – that explain how these results have been achieved, starting with taking the shot and describing each processing step to the final result.
While usually not a fan of heavily post processed images, I'm occasionally working with these techniques too. If used judiciously the results will show a very natural look. If overdone you get the typical, fashionable and commonly desired Armageddon look – in particular when shooting landscapes with (G)ND filters or applying their digital equivalent afterwards. Ultimately, however, digital post processing is the most effective way to escape technical limits during the shot in order to approximate human perception, thinking of exposure or focus bracketing and fusion of the image series later on.
To cut a long story short, today it is quite unimaginable to accomplish optimal results without taking raw images first and then developing afterwards, right? Well, to prove the opposite I collected a series of unprocessed snapshots ('unprocessed' apart from cropping and processing the sensor data to JPEG), taken during a couple of easy hikes in Südtirol. I was shooting raw – of course – and then developing the images using Canon DPP 4.x with the original settings from the camera, rendering the same results as a straight out of the camera JPEG. Enjoy!
By Christian Paulsen