Insights: Why Should You Learn The Basics Before You Learn Post Processing

Post processing or PP for short has been pretty much around ever since photography started. Back then post processing means manual dodging and burning inside the smelly chemical-filled darkroom which by the way is now considered as an art form. Now with the help of technology, post processing is done with a computer. PP nowadays means opening your Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom/Corel Painter/Aperture/whateverthefreakinghell.exe, load the raw file of your photograph, look for the areas that you needed to work on, afterwards go click like crazy and then save. Easy? Hell no!

Even with basic  photography & lighting knowledge you can create
great photos without too much post processing involved.
Don't get me wrong here, I don't find anything wrong with post processing your photos. What I do find irksome is that people who just started in photography also jumped into post processing at the same, without even learning and mastering the basics of photography. What's worst is that these photographers conduct paid open photo-shoots where they also invite starting photographers and teach them the same crap ass work and the end result is a shitty ass photograph where you'd easily feel sorry for the model.

I always tell people who are starting in photography that it is essential to learn the basics in photography before they go post processing. In a way those who started photography and post processing at the same time have the tendency to "fix" their photographs in photoshop. When in fact they could just shoot it on the spot and save time and effort. This kind of photographers tend to create mediocre work and will be forever like that as Zack Arias said in one of his videos “If you find yourself out shooting a client and you’re sayin’ in your head ‘oh I’ll just fix that later in photoshop’ stop what you’re doing and slap yourself as hard as you can.’” Well, if you are that kind of photography you better do what he says now.

I am not condemning those who chose to study photography and post processing at the same time. I am merely illustrating to you the possible scenarios that will likely to happen. Surely you wouldn't want to produce a half-ass work when you spent your hard earned cash on a camera and lens.  

2010- I still don't have a firm grasp on post processing but at least my composition is okay.
 2011-getting better there. 2012-is learning and improving but this one is the least pp'ed photo.
There are tons of ways to learn photography. One can go online and search for articles and videos, buy a book or go to a credible workshop. Yes you will spend a significant amount of time and money while learning photography, but look on the bright side when you are done there you can market yourself and make money. Apart from that you'll be impressed and equally satisfied with the quality of your work because you know that you worked hard for that photo.


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About Me

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Patrick Jude M. Ilagan born June 24, 1990 is a graphic designer, photographer and content specialist based in Manila, Philippines. Patrick is a graduate of University of Santo Tomas wherein he earned his degree in Fine Arts major in Advertising.

After graduating he worked as a graphic designer and art director for on Gadgets Magazine under Great Minds Media Inc. which is a publishing company based in Quezon City, Philippines in 2011 until 2012. He then moved to Web Providers Dev. Pro as a content writer which later on became Digital Room Inc. (Philippines) wherein he became a digital marketing specialist. In the same year he moved to Web Providers Dev. Pro he also part-timed as an instructor for a local college based in Makati, Philippines wherein he taught graphic design.

Patrick wrote and made downloadable content for You the Designer which is a graphic design lifestyle blog in 2012 until early 2014 with artist Kerby Rosanes. In mid-2014 He shifted his efforts and co-founded photography lifestyle and inspiration blog named You the Photographer with George Nacpil. He is currently the blog's editor.

Patrick often refers to himself as a pixel craftsman since he is mostly working with a computer. Patrick mostly uses Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Lightroom for his work.

When not working Patrick immerses himself in TV shows, movies, books and games. He is also a fan of underground live music shows, food fairs, art exhibits and roaming around museums.