I thought it may be interesting to have a post about post processing images. When photographers talk about post processing images they are referring to all of the manipulation that they do to a photograph after they have actually taken it. Most of the time I use Photoshop and/or Lightroom for my post-process work. Post process work is almost as important as actually taking the picture because it can drastically change the overall feeling of a picture (just as the initial decision about composition, exposure, etc.). Here are some examples:
initial retouch (skin softened, adjusted exposure slightly, added vignette):
black and white conversion:
“chocolate” lightroom preset with grain added:
vintage style with grain added:
It is very important that the photographer have a very clear idea of the look and feel they are trying to achieve in the photograph. There are almost limitless adjustments that you can easily do to an image in Photoshop and many of them are extremely cheesy, unflattering, or done in order to make a bad photograph good. In order to get a good final image, you must first start with a good (or at least decent!) initial image which really relies on the experience of the photographer taking the picture and not adjustments performed in Photoshop. For this particular image, I wanted to have a vintage feel with split toned color and a bit of grain to make the photograph appear older than it actually is (I just took it less than a week ago). Let me know which version you like the best!