Not Enough Post-Production?

April 15, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Stromness, South Georgia. Shot with a Canon EOS-1D X and an EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens,
1/8000 second at f3.2, ISO 800, handheld from a moving zodiac.

I dropped into my lab in Melbourne (The Edge Photo Imaging in Collingwood) to pick up some prints on Kodak's metallic Endura paper. There are a couple of inkjet papers that produce a shiny, psuedo-metallic look, but none that match the conventional photography process for metallic prints - in my humble opinion.

The images were of my Antarctica trip which I'm currently working on. I'm in the middle of finalising the stills for the National Geographic television series, produced in partnership with Canon, and based on the comments by one of the people down at the lab, I'm thinking I might have to work a little harder!

My friend at the lab didn't think the photographs were mine because they didn't have enough post-production! They didn't have my signature colour or vignetting or whatever it is I'm supposed to do.

It was surprising to be told this as I was wondering if there was too much post-production on some of the images (such as the one above). Included in the selection of photographs were exposures that required very little adjustment, but others had quite a bit of work done to them, so perhaps I should be flattered that they all seemed to have so little! I like the idea of 'invisible Photoshop' (or invisible Lightroom, Capture One etcetera).

At the Camberwell Camera Club presentation in Melbourne last Monday night, I spoke to a room of 250-300 people kind enough to listen and watch my slide shows. I spoke about the need for everyone to do at least some post-production to their images, if not for effect, then to ensure the correct exposure, contrast and colour that matches their memory of the scene or situation they have photographed.

I also suggested that what was too much for one photographer might not be enough for another. The question really isn't about post-production, rather the amount of post-production and where do you stop.

Now I admit that my images from Antarctica to date have been processed with slightly less 'imagination' than other projects, but that's partly because of the job. However, given the association my segment is going to have with photographer Frank Hurley, I'm thinking maybe I need to do a little more! (Hurley is renowned for dropping in a sky or tweaking his photographs for good effect - 100 years ago!)

The photograph reproduced here is of the whaling ruins at Stromness on South Georgia, which is part of the Antarctic voyage I took with cinematographer and Canon Master Abraham Joffe on Aurora's Polar Pioneer. The edited one is above, the pre-edit below.

I have been invited by Aurora, along with Abraham, to take a group of photographers down to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands late November / early December 2015. Naturally, it will include lots of photographic tuition and post-production advice as well, so an ideal opportunity to see some of the most amazing locations on the planet, and improve your photography skills as well..

If you're interested to find out more, shoot me an email at, or you can try this link to Aurora's website:

And also a gentle reminder that I have an introductory, hands-on Photoshop workshop in Dee Why, Sydney. There are still a few places left, so if you want to master layers and take control of Photoshop, this is the course to take. It includes sample files and lots of notes, and we'll be going through images step-by-step to ensure you understand it all!Click here for details or visit the Workshop section on the Better Photography website.


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