One of the key things I try to get across in my teaching is that it's a mistake to think of post-production as something that just comes after you take a shot. In a literal sense of course it's clearly something that occurs later – you can't post-produce a shot that doesn't exist – but, in terms of the photographic process as a whole, a better understanding of what's possible during post-production can change the way you shoot.

This image is a good example. It was taken during my Creating Dramatic Images workshop in Austin, and while the original has virtually no intrinsic merit, the final version is a lot more interesting. From a purist's point of view then, the shot wasn't worth taking: it's dull, flat, and uninteresting. With the addition of a few masked curves, a big boost in saturation, and some detail enhancement using Topaz Detail, it's considerably improved. In other words then, because I could evaluate the original scene and visualise how it could look, I knew the shot was worth taking, and while it's not going to win any awards, it is a good illustration of this point :)

captured
camera
lens
focal length
aperture
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
ISO
flash
image quality
RAW converter
image editor
plugins (etc)
cropped?
12.57pm on 6/2/10
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
35mm
f/4.5
1/160
aperture priority
+1
evaluative
100
no
RAW
Camera Raw
Photoshop CS5
Topaz Detail
no
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