I always have to remind myself not to over-process my images.
It used to be the domain of poor HDR photography practitioners, but now I see “over-cooked” images everywhere. What’s worse is that few people are objecting to it.
Don’t get me wrong, I shoot in raw format and process ALL of my images, using various Nik Software plug-ins – which I suspect are the most popular tools employed by the offending photo-chefs.
And, especially in my novice days, I have been guilty of over-processing too. Moreover, I’m sure in 10 years I’ll look back at my current digital output and label it as this-side-of-kitschy.
However, I’ve been shooting a lot with film lately. I’m doing this mostly because my mood and creative juices are calling for it…. something to do with the darker, cooler season of autumn.
In doing so, I’m always reminded of how a photograph should look.
↑Leica M2 and Voigtländer Nokton 40mm @ f/1.4.
Nothing flashy. Nothing exciting. But real.
I know digital and film, in their native state, look different so I’m not trying to emulate one with the other.
I still go ahead and process the film images I’ve scanned into my computer, though – fortunately – it’s harder to screw around with them… but not impossible. This limitation helps me understand what I should be striving for when processing digital images.
Keeping it real, so to speak.