Photography and commentary from John Fujimagari

You Can’t Fix It In Post


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I don’t know how often I’ve heard the phrase “I can fix it in post”. I’m here to say that you can’t.

In post production, you may be able to improve an image, but not to “fix” it. The above image has grey and white birds on a dirty grey background. It’s an uninspiring image without good composition. The easiest thing to do is hit the delete key.

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Let’s look at things we might do to the image. Here I’ve bumped up the contrast and did a little Brilliance and Warmth in Nik’s Color Efex Pro 3. It helped to differentiate the birds from the background. Not much of an improvement.

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Tonal Contrast and Black & White conversion made thing look flat and lifeless. I didn’t spend a lot of time on any of the images, but couldn’t see where I could do much here.

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The Polaroid Transfer filter produced some interesting results, still kind of oldtimey but flat and washed out.

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The Pop Art filter looks pretty wild, but it isn’t something that I’d normally do, when I’m sober.

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The Flux filter looks way over the top look. The black seagull is a very rare bird!

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Nik’s Solarization filter gives an effect that I half way like even though it scores high on the grunge scale. None of these effects have fixed the composition.

Good post processing must start with good images to be turned into great images, not mediocre images becoming slightly less forgettable. Great photography starts in the camera. Are you working to get your images “right” in the camera?

In the best light…

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