Consistency in Post Production

posted April 14th, 2012
I've been trying to update the photo's of the kids in the family for my wall. The shots that I have, are all taken at different times and are kind of mishmash.
Anyway, I had this article in my inbox this morning and I thought you might want a look see. I found it interesting.
I'm guilty....you?
http://digital-photography-school.com/consistency-in-post-production?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DigitalPhotographySchool+%28Digital+Photography+School%29
posted April 14th, 2012
A classic mistake. Gladly i don't make anymore.
posted April 14th, 2012
thanks for the tip! Im just learning and I definitely screw that up. I cant decide which I like best and it all depends on how Im feeling on any given day! Guess I best keep working on it.
posted April 14th, 2012
probably... altho' i have some standard "go to" things i almost always do... brighten / lighten a bit... boost saturation and hue a bit... crop... but i NEVER remember what numbers i use and so i'm not consistent from one edited shot to the next... and then yah, i look at a bunch together and think... wtf did i do???? grrr...
posted April 14th, 2012
Very interesting article! My "style" seems to be all over the map, but, as of late, I seem to be leaning toward sweet sweet retro:)
Ps - Hi Jenn!!
posted April 14th, 2012
Thanks Jenn! I often wondered why people that get "paid" for picutres seem to have a consistent style.
posted April 14th, 2012
Oddly enough, in this town, the photographer that gets the most work (in portraits) has a portfolio that includes several different styles. Actually, I don't find it odd at all. He makes enough money that it is his full time job. The customer usually knows what they want when they go to hire someone to do their portraits... if you don't have an example of what they are looking for, instead of asking questions, most people assume you can't do it, and look elsewhere. His explanation as to why he gets the business instead of other photographers in town? Customers tell him they'd rather hire ONE photographer to get all the shots and styles they want rather than having to hire 2-3 photographers to get all that they want..
posted April 14th, 2012
@jsw0109 Very interesting approach to this 'issue'. I got this email on my inbox today as well and since i am just in the very beginning of my photography path I have felt very conflicted about all the different styles of editing I'm using. The way I see it is, i will edit it the way i feel looks good that day lol Of course, if I'm doing editing on a full session of pictures, then i try my hardest to make them all look similar. Work in progress over here for me.
posted April 14th, 2012
Thanks for the link, Jenn. I agree with the session edits being consistent. But as far as style over time... I am still experimenting. I love discovering a "new" look and I hope I never stop looking for them!
posted April 14th, 2012
Interesting link - I'm not sure I agree with it within the context of 365. For most of us on here, we're amateurs learning, and we don't need a consistent style to sell to anyone. Personally I think we should be playing around and try different things. I keep the original shots, so if I decided I wanted a group on a wall, I could go back and do a batch edit on them.

If we don't try different things, how are we to grow? How will we be able to go back and see improvement?
posted April 14th, 2012
@shutterbugger I love this site I get there tips newsletter they offer prime examples and great tips ALL the time.
posted April 14th, 2012
Interesting article. It is true that it can be a bit jarring if I look at one my flickr albums from a single shoot and it's all over the place. I have especially noticed this when I have used slightly different editing settings on colour pictures. Inconsistent editing can take away from how natural (if that's the right word) the overall set feels. I tend to only do B&W every now and then, and (I'll admit) it is sometimes to solve a problem with light and/or colour. Hopefullly that will change as my skills develop:-)

I have done exactly what is described but I don't think I would class it as a mistake at all.For me, the thing is that I'm not a professional and for me it is all about having fun, being interested, and, at the end, having something that I was involved in creating. So, @shanne and@aspada , I'm with you both.

I don't know that I have a style but at this point, I don't know that I need one. I want to learn how to take a range of pictures just because I can. While I would probably want to avoid the "mishmash" effect, I'm happy just to have a few pictures every now and then that I like. I guess we are all in this for our own reasons.
posted April 14th, 2012
I found this article a bit odd. Why would you want to pigeonhole yourself ? Of course, a consistent edit in a single session is understandable, but does that same editing style suit every session you're going to make ? Just be consistently good, and show that you can be diverse in your work... I'd think that would attract more clients and be more interesting to the photog also. Finally, the beauty of post-processing is that you can redo the edits and match the pics from different sessions to whatever style you want.

Maybe I didn't understand this article at all :-)
posted April 14th, 2012
I see both sides of this fence. Consistency is good within the confines of a single shoot for the reasons mentioned in the article but a variety of possible skills available shows one is capable of more that one style and therefore allows a wider range of potential clients if that is the goal.
posted April 14th, 2012
I disagree with the first point, that ones style should be consistent across all ones portfolio. Shouldn't be Helter skelter, but all the same? No.
I agree editing should be consistent through each session as this should have been discussed prior to pointing the camera at anything.
However, not necessarily always.
posted April 14th, 2012
I've done a lot of collages here and have learned they always look better as a grouping if I stay on subject with the chosen pictures and they have similar processing. They become cohesive and create a more full story. It's about how they fit together yet can stand on their own as individual photos. I wouldn't add soft and muted photos with abstracts. They really have no place together in a grouping.
posted April 14th, 2012
@janmaki @grammyn exactly what I was getting at with the specific example I gave. A friend of mine wants me to take her son's senior pictures. It would be the first time being paid to do a photo shoot. She actually wants quite a few different styles ("inconsistency according to the article). She wants a b&w, a selective color, a soft focus, an overexposed, an HDR, a vintage, and Warhol-esque.....to name a few. The only photographer in town that will give her what she wants is the one I mentioned in my original comment - but she doesn't want to pay what he wants to charge.
posted April 14th, 2012
@grammyn @jsw0109 @janmaki I'm with Katy, Jeff and Jani. I can see where you want to be consistent within a session or block shoot, but post processing is just that - an expression of feeling. For slide shows or putting music to photos I am a bit picky about transitions and style, but then again that is also a form of expression and feeling. Just my thoughts....
posted April 14th, 2012
If i can add to this, while I find consistency is great for slide shows or generally in portfolios, mastering a number of styles is a good way to go to. I am self taught and new to that so I often take a few pics and come up with at least 3 different edits for one pic, from there I like to be my own judge and see what works best given the subject, lighting and background. It is important to be precise but dont think every one has to sport a uniform, there is always room to negotiate with the client and with the variety of post processing packages available it might be the new thing to have several edits displayed of similar images, although I respect the general audience desire for straight forward contract, ie I wouldnt take wedding pics from a preppy couple and make em look grungy, ... or would I???? well to most people photography is to capture the moment, not every moment deserve interpretation, but dont we all have unique opinions? I like the assigment @jsw0109 talks about, more fun and more interesting. My point is to be solid and balanced, but it is a craft and should be creative.
posted April 14th, 2012
If you follow my project, you'd know that I have processing ADD. In a case like 365, it makes it interesting to follow. If I cross processed everything, it would get boring and you might stop looking (I know I would)
BUT
When you are trying to get a few shots together to group on a wall, I think it looks more uniform when they are processed the same way.

@gabrielklee @katiebrenkert @northy @pwallis @kylec @jsw0109 @jreyna @aspada @shanne @mcdermgl @janmaki @grammyn @lilbudhha @dmortega @mikegifford @eryck
posted April 14th, 2012
@jamieoliver my fav photog site too. It's how I found my way here!
posted April 14th, 2012
@pwallis lol...hi!!
posted April 14th, 2012
I guess this is why I'm not a pro....

I respectfully disagree with the entire article. While I agree that each customer may want portraits to be consistent in processing for some reason (for a wedding photo album, collage, etc), beyond that it sounds BORING and putting the photographic possibilities into a very narrow focus. It reminds me of an assembly line in a factory.

ETA: I was thinking if a photographer wanted to be know for a certain look or to be "that kind of photographer (whatever that might be)" then this might be important = being consistent so customers know what they are getting.
posted April 14th, 2012
I usually break this rule too. I will often times play with different editing styles, even from the same session. I haven't had any complaints about it yet... Nor have I ever looked at a wall with photos and thought "these should have been edited in similar ways" But I am neither a professional photographer nor an interior decorator
posted April 14th, 2012
But I do see your point with have three photos on the wall that are all cross processed...
Write a Reply
Sign up for a free account or Sign in to post a comment.