To process or not to process photos?
For many, this is a sore point – is a photo processed in Photoshop considered “live” and “real”. In this opinion, people are divided into two camps – some are categorically against processing, others – for the fact that there is nothing wrong with processing photos. Personally, my opinion about the processing is as follows:
Any photographer, even an amateur, should have at least basic photo processing skills – correct the horizon, crop, cover up a speck of dust on the matrix, adjust the exposure level, white balance. For portrait painters, knowledge of the basics of retouching is desirable.
Learn to take pictures in such a way that you don’t spend a lot of time on processing later.
If the picture initially turned out well, think a hundred times before you somehow programmatically “improve” it.
If the picture has a clear technical defect (for example, a shake), there is no point in trying to stretch it in Photoshop. Learn from every bad shot – what did you do wrong and how can you fix it next time?
Converting a photo to b/w, toning, graininess, applying filters does not automatically make it artistic, but there is a chance to slip into bad taste.
When processing a photo, you need to know what you want to get. No need to do processing for the sake of processing.
Explore the features of the programs you use. There are probably features that you do not know about that will allow you to achieve the result faster and better.
Don’t get carried away with color grading without a quality calibrated monitor. Just because an image looks good on your laptop screen doesn’t mean it will look good on other screens or when printed.
The processed photo should be “aged”. Before you publish it and give it to print, leave it for a couple of days, and then look with a fresh eye – it is quite possible that you want to redo a lot.