I am a photographer with my photographic realm being digital.  I do enjoy all forms of the art and constantly experiment with methods to push my understanding of all things visual.  This is also something I encourage in my students.  I have never shot with film professionally or processed in a dark room, however have studied the methods.  This was something that I was questioned about recently.  It was suggested that a "true" professional photographer doesn't need to edit there images in post production.  My stance is of the contrary.  It is my belief all photographers, both film and digital, have to use post production methods as one of their final steps in their workflow.  The stronger your steps are, the stronger your images will be.

The stronger your steps are, the stronger your images will be.

Now this argument or "heated discussion", is one to be had over good wine or whiskey and not online in a journal entry, hence I will share a recent shoot I did instead, which may show the power of a well executed final step.

Recently I was approached by a good friend and amazing Makeup Artist.  She asked if I would be interested in doing a test shoot with a new face.  Now there are few people in this world I just yes too, every time, without hesitation and even without looking at the proposal. Marie is one of those people.  

Now there are few people in this world I just yes too, every time, without hesitation...

After the shoot, selections are made from the uploaded set and from there I will edit the images in post production.  Sometimes there is a clear direction for the image and then there are times when I am not 100% sure the mood or feeling I want from the image.  It is these times I will experiment and try different post production methods to see what can be crafted.  I do this digitally, while a film developer would do this through physical and chemical methods.

"Beth" edited using 3 different methods.

These images all have a slightly dark edge to them as was the intent of the lighting and posing of the model, however the editing gives them all a different feel.  Put simply the first has basic colour adjustments, the second a high contrast B&W conversion and the 3rd has a washed out shadows with selective colour change and selection region desaturation applied.

Each are different enough to give a different feel and each are strong enough to stand alone.  I am happy I do have the opportunity to use my post production skill set to assist my image creation.  Digital Post production is just another step I use to help me realise my vision of my images and sometimes these methods will create images I initially didn't envisaged.

There is no wrong way of doing something when you are producing in a creative field like photography.  If it works for you then it is right.  Using digital post production in my workflow is right for me.

Many thanks for this shoot goes out to the amazing team.

MUA/Creative Director - Marie Timbrell Donnell
Model - Beth Dabin
Hair - Dilkara Hair

Life is too short not to enjoy it.

Doug Hall

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