Post processing your images is one of those things that you either love or you hate.  But, like it or not, it’s usually unavoidable.

What is post processing you ask?

Post processing is the term generally used for the process of enhancing an image after the camera has captured the shot.  Most times this is done on a computer with programs such as Photoshop or Lightroom. In the days before digital cameras were the norm, the post processing stage was all done in a dark room.

In an ideal world no post processing would be necessary, the shot could be taken perfectly in camera with no need for removing dust spots or a little lightening later.

But it isn’t all bad, post processing your images can be fun.  The post processing stage is sometimes where the greatest photos are born.  The excitement you feel at that stage can be addictive, fueling us on to process more photos and come out with more great photos.

It’s a fact of life that almost all (if not all) professional photographers post process their images in some way. Whether it’s just a bit of dust spot removal or lightening up of the image, or whether it’s a full on process using masks, cut and paste, and photo merging, most photos you see from professional photographers have been post processed.

This doesn’t mean it’s unattainable for the everyday photographer though.  Photoshop, though expensive, is a very simple program to use once you get the hang of it.  Photoshop Elements is cheaper and probably better suited to the amateur photographer.

There are classes you can take, run from most community colleges, that will give you a head start in using photoshop.  Or you can learn as you go, searching the internet each time you get stuck.  It’s really not hard.

The basics tools you should know how to use are: curves, unsharp mask, and the clone tool.  Once you have mastered these three you will have no doubt already used one or two of the other tools and you will be well on your way to becoming the next post processing master.

Happy Shooting!

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