4 Tips on Being Creative in Photography Post-Processing

Post-processing is one of three step that every photographer should understand. I know there are some who said they don’t need post-processing. But for me that is just ridiculous. I think it should be understand. One of the problem when it come to post-processing is that many people don’t know what to do. Maybe start with basic adjustment to make it look better. Than you start to thinking that you want to make more, but don’t know how. So these are 3 tips on being creative in Photography Post-Processing.

Of course these are not post-processing tutorial. But a few tips that can help you conceptualize a creative idea you want when you post-processing a photograph.

Before we start, post-processing is the third step in photography where you edited a photo that you already took. Either in computer software (if digital) or in a darkroom (if analog).

Read more: 3 Step of Photography that Every Photographer Should Follow

Make a Plan

I think making a plan is one thing that some photography…no, all photography should do. Except street photography, probably (I usually just walk and snap).

Plan is one way in pre-processing step where you gonna implement when you’ll shot a photograph. But that’s not all. Plan also involved on how do you want to post-processing it. It come when you imagine the place, how it gonna look like, how do you want your photo end up like. In my experience it kinda hard to do that at first. Especially if you never come to a place or experience it first hand.

So the second way is to make a plan when you taking the shot. This is how I did mostly. I look at the place I photograph, I look at the frame shot on my camera screen, and then I start thinking on how I want this photograph look like and how I gonna edited it. I imagine every step that I’ll gonna do in photoshop right on the spot.

Just Do It as you See It

One problem when it come to being creative, you are to creative. To creative, to the extend that its to much.

Word of wisdom: “In post-processing, Do not increase or decrease, make it balance.”

Don’t get it. You’ll understand if you do it a lot.

Many people use photoshop for their photography because they think it make their photograph look better. The problem sometime is that they don’t know when to stop. They think more editing will make it more better. But that’s not true. Instead of a amazing photograph, you’ll end up with pile of shit.

So how to properly post-processing? One idea is just edit it as you see it. Eyes catch more better than camera. Even though you see much more, but usually you cannot see it in your photograph.

For example a golden hour sky. You can see it. But when you’re taking the shot, your photograph didn’t showed how colorful the sky is as much as you see it. So you can just make it so in post-processing, make it darker, more contrast, add saturation, make it more yellow. In doing so, you’ll end up with a photo that match with the golden hour sky that you saw.

Find Inspiration

My idea in photography is to find inspiration. Look for photos that you think amazing and you want to copy.

For example, my architecture photography is inspired by an amazing photographer, Julia Anna Gospodarou. Her photography is one of the reason I start my photography this way. That’s why I try to copy her photograph so it can look the same as her. You don’t need worry about “copying is the same as stealing.” Eventually your photograph gonna be different and end up as your own photography style.

Keep it Consistent

If you want to be creative you don’t have to make every different kind of photograph. Well you can do it if you still exploring photography. But if you already have one kind of photography you want to do then keep consistent.

Now, consistent is not the same as do the same thing. It mean you just edited in a way you always like to do. But in time, improve. Get better without the change of style.


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