In this article, I’m explicating my thoughts on keeping the naturalness of nature photos and the importance of considering the whole image and the natural relations of the elements during a natural post process flow.
Before I get into the topic I’d like to tell you an important thing. This article is about photos that were made to give back the reality or at least almost the reality. Fine art, very abstract and artistic images are exceptions, since, the purpose of them are a bit different and they are other ways of self-expression.
You might now ask, why I talk about post-processing while I want to show the things as they are. Well, cameras do not give back the reality as it is. It depends on the camera settings, the brands, the technology under the hood and many other things. Some cameras produce a slight color cast, others take flat images and so on. And these are the same with the lenses.
So, images, in many cases, need some post process to bring the best out of them.
Nature have its natural beauty. Things occurring in nature are the base of almost everything. Artificial stuff are usually built up of things observed in nature. We are living beings, parts of the mother nature so we are close to it. We can decide if something is unnatural to us or not. It’s not accidental how things work, how they look like or how a phenomenon comes to be.
When we try to show this beauty, we must leave it as it was naturally evolved and as it looks like at that moment from your viewpoint.
If you make excessive changes, the result may look unnatural or artificial and it may loose its natural magic and wondrousness. It won’t be a proof of the reality, it will be an unrealistic something that presents someone’s visionary world.
As for post-processing, over- or undersaturation, too much contrast, strange colors and other settings take part in changing the overall impression and can ruin it easily. If you want to avoid common post processing mistakes, check out this article.
Unfortunately, It’s not enough if we change the global settings gingerly, there is another group of fastidious modifications, the local adjustments.
All I have already mentioned above go to this category as well. However, local adjustments have a property that affects the image in another way: these changes are applied locally.
Why local adjustments can be problems in natural post process…
You know, in nature, things are settled as they naturally should be and they interact with each other in a natural way. Lighter and darker parts, colors, contrast and shadows being defined by the lights, the spaces, the imperfections and so on. They are all parts of the big picture as they are. It’s natural. However, when you change only certain elements of the system, the balance will be lost and it may also cause token perverseness.
No doubt that local changes can be really useful in some cases if we use them wisely, yet, don’t forget to use them really carefully.
All in all, if you like to show the natural reality as it is, you might achieve it easier by paying attention to these thoughts.
Of course, all of these are my opinion, so if you have any ideas or dissents or just want to talk about it, feel free to write a comment below.