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What is the digital image: post- production?

Digital imaging allows you to mimic almost all conventional (chemical-based) photographic tasks such as burning and dodging, spotting, and retouching, and color correction. Results can be seen on screen instantly as most of them occur in real-time (or without any noticeable delay), enabling you to continually adjust your actions accordingly without the need to print out your image.

You can insert motion blur where there is no motion; you can repair areas of an image that would otherwise be unsalvageable in a conventional darkroom environment; you can realistically merge several images into one, either by taking elements from different images into another image or by joining a sequence of images together to construct a seamless panoramic landscape; you can restore a 60-year-old damaged and faded photograph by removing its many creases and revitalizing its faded appearance.

Some of these techniques are very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve perfectly using conventional darkrooms techniques. With the help of a computer and the appropriate software these and many other modifications are but a few steps away.

There are a few things to be aware of when you first start to work with digital photography:

  • It is easy to overdo an image. As you are discovering these remarkable possibilities it can be tempting to apply too many needless effects to an already good image to improve it.

  • Most importantly, perhaps, is that digital imaging is not easy if you are a beginner. As with any new skill, it requires time and patience, but once you have picked up basic skills set, it is then easier to build on those and try out more sophisticated techniques. You will often find yourself discovering new and better ways at doing the same thing.

  • Just because it’s straightforward to, for instance, correct a crooked horizon or remove an element in post- production, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking the same care with your image-taking as you would have you been photographing and working in an analogue environment, where these things would be very difficult to correct.

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