Is it "normal" to need post shooting editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Leesa_Tay@softhome.net, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. Guest

    I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures however
    sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image will be a
    little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a shot of my
    boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to stand back
    about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.

    The picture will come out clear, but a little too dark. Another thing
    I notice is that sometimes if I use either a SHARPEN or SATURATION
    filter, it will improve the image quality.

    My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?

    Thank you in advance

    LEESA (I)
    , Dec 10, 2006
    #1
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  2. Phil Wheeler Guest

    wrote:
    > I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures however
    > sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image will be a
    > little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a shot of my
    > boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to stand back
    > about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.
    >


    He must be very tall, Leesa!

    > The picture will come out clear, but a little too dark. Another thing
    > I notice is that sometimes if I use either a SHARPEN or SATURATION
    > filter, it will improve the image quality.
    >
    > My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    > them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    > cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?
    >


    I usually fuss with shots I post on a website
    (mostly cropping) and print. Otherwise not.

    More expensive cameras do not reduce the tendency
    to post process .. if that's what you mean by the
    above. My DSLR setup (roughly $3800 with the two
    main lenses) does not reduce processing vs. my
    $400 S3 IS .. likely because serious shots are
    more likely to receive more attention.

    Phil
    Phil Wheeler, Dec 10, 2006
    #2
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  3. Guest

    wrote:
    > I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures however
    > sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image will be a
    > little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a shot of my
    > boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to stand back
    > about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.
    >
    > The picture will come out clear, but a little too dark. Another thing
    > I notice is that sometimes if I use either a SHARPEN or SATURATION
    > filter, it will improve the image quality.
    >
    > My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    > them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    > cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?



    Hi Leesa,
    On the contrary, the more you spend on the camera the more editing you
    have to do. As you improve as a photographer, through training and
    better equipment, your ability to discriminate also improves. After
    the $500 camera you will need the $600 Photoshop, then the $2000 camera
    with two $500 flashes etc.
    Your photos look better now than they ever will.

    Good luck,
    Ron
    , Dec 10, 2006
    #3
  4. In article <>,
    "" <> wrote:


    >
    >
    > Hi Leesa,
    > On the contrary, the more you spend on the camera the more editing you
    > have to do. As you improve as a photographer, through training and
    > better equipment, your ability to discriminate also improves. After
    > the $500 camera you will need the $600 Photoshop, then the $2000 camera
    > with two $500 flashes etc.
    > Your photos look better now than they ever will.
    >
    > Good luck,
    > Ron


    What a great answer! ...................:)
    Richard DeLuca, Dec 10, 2006
    #4
  5. Dan Sullivan Guest

    wrote:
    > I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures however
    > sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image will be a
    > little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a shot of my
    > boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to stand back
    > about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.
    >
    > The picture will come out clear, but a little too dark. Another thing
    > I notice is that sometimes if I use either a SHARPEN or SATURATION
    > filter, it will improve the image quality.
    >
    > My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    > them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    > cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?
    >
    > Thank you in advance
    >
    > LEESA (I)


    Hey,

    Download picasa2... it's free from Google.

    It has just about everything you'll nedd and more!

    Almost every picture could use a tweak or two.

    Plus picasa will let you change your color picts to B&W or sepia, etc.
    etc... and it has special effects.

    Your 3 mp cam is FINE!!!

    Best, Dan
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 10, 2006
    #5
  6. wrote:
    > I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures
    > however sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image
    > will be a little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a
    > shot of my boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to
    > stand back about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.
    >
    > The picture will come out clear, but a little too dark. Another thing
    > I notice is that sometimes if I use either a SHARPEN or SATURATION
    > filter, it will improve the image quality.
    >
    > My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    > them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    > cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?
    >
    > Thank you in advance
    >
    > LEESA (I)


    Define "need"

    The camera does what it can. If you know the camera well and understand
    all the features and abilities, then likely you can make the adjustments
    before exposure and do a better job than after.

    As for more expensive cameras, they offer some improvement in the
    automatic process, but they also allow for far more manual intervention.
    Generally I believe an owner of an expensive DSLR is more likely to spend
    the time to make pre-exposure adjustments than the owner of a point and
    shoot. Likewise they are more likely to want to tweak the last bit of
    improvement in post exposure adjustments as well. So we are back to "Define
    'need' "

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    Dia 's Muire duit
    Joseph Meehan, Dec 10, 2006
    #6
  7. Bruce Lewis Guest

    writes:

    > My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    > them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    > cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?


    More expensive point-and-shoot cameras will have the same issue with
    indoor flash shots. Save your money for a DSLR and possibly a nice
    flash, or just keep editing.

    --

    http://ourdoings.com/ Easily organize and disseminate news and
    photos for your family or group.
    Bruce Lewis, Dec 10, 2006
    #7
  8. J. Clarke Guest

    On Sat, 09 Dec 2006 17:21:16 -0800, Leesa_Tay wrote:

    > I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures however
    > sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image will be a
    > little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a shot of my
    > boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to stand back
    > about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.
    >
    > The picture will come out clear, but a little too dark. Another thing
    > I notice is that sometimes if I use either a SHARPEN or SATURATION
    > filter, it will improve the image quality.
    >
    > My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    > them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    > cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?


    Cameras set exposure using artificial intelligence, which is also referred
    to as artificial stupidity. Sometimes its judgment is good, sometimes it
    isn't.

    It sounds like your camera is making some assumptions about flash shots
    that don't apply to the ones that you are taking. I don't know what
    particular camera you're using so don't know if it has any way to adjust
    for this. Older point-and-shoot cameras didn't, newer ones often
    do--look for something about "flash EV compensation" and if there is
    such a capability in your camera, try some different settings there to see
    if it addresses the problem you're seeing. Start out with "-1" and go
    from there.

    If there isn't such a feature in your camera, a more capable one will have
    it, and may have a more sophisticated exposure calculation system as well.

    But in answer to your question, no matter how good your equipment, no
    matter how skilled and experienced you are, you still run into situations
    where you can't get the image you need without doing some post processing.



    > Thank you in advance
    >
    > LEESA (I)


    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
    J. Clarke, Dec 10, 2006
    #8
  9. Bob Williams Guest

    wrote:
    > I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures however
    > sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image will be a
    > little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a shot of my
    > boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to stand back
    > about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.
    >
    > The picture will come out clear, but a little too dark. Another thing
    > I notice is that sometimes if I use either a SHARPEN or SATURATION
    > filter, it will improve the image quality.
    >
    > My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    > them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    > cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?
    >
    > Thank you in advance
    >
    > LEESA (I)
    >

    Most inexpensive cameras have a very anemic flash with a range of about
    10 feet at the camera's default ISO setting . So at 12-15 feet, you can
    expect the subject to be somewhat dark and the background will be nearly
    black.
    If you are going to take a lot of shots indoors with flash, it would be
    a good idea to set the ISO to a higher value, at least 200 or more.
    You may lose some sharpness but the image will be brighter.

    If it is any comfort to you, I edit most of my keepers and 100% of those
    images I choose to print.
    I feel that "in general", if it is not worth at least a few minutes of
    tweaking, it is probably not worth keeping. Otherwise you end up with
    tons of mediocre pictures that can make storage an issue and retrieval
    of the really good stuff a real chore.
    I think that printers, without editing features, that print directly
    from a memory card, may be convenient for many but will generate lots of
    badly exposed prints.
    IMHO, Once you learn to edit your photos (Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop
    Pro, ACDSee, Irfanview etc, etc.,) Digital photography will become a LOT
    more fun.
    Bob Williams
    Bob Williams, Dec 10, 2006
    #9
  10. Pete D Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures however
    > sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image will be a
    > little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a shot of my
    > boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to stand back
    > about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.
    >
    > The picture will come out clear, but a little too dark. Another thing
    > I notice is that sometimes if I use either a SHARPEN or SATURATION
    > filter, it will improve the image quality.
    >
    > My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    > them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    > cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?
    >
    > Thank you in advance
    >
    > LEESA (I)
    >


    You are probably just getting to far back for the flash, they are small on
    the point and shoot cameras.
    Pete D, Dec 10, 2006
    #10
  11. wrote:
    >I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures however
    >sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image will be a
    >little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a shot of my
    >boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to stand back
    >about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.
    >
    >The picture will come out clear, but a little too dark. Another thing


    You obviously need better equipment. For example, a new
    boyfriend would probably solve the problem... (A shorter model
    can be moved closer to the camera, and if his face is darker it
    will reflect less light and cause a brighter flash.)

    If you absolutely cannot afford a better model of boyfriend, you
    can make do in a pinch by having your old one sit, and put him
    in front of a darker background, or maybe just cover up his face
    if it reflects too much light. (All that will still be okay
    with his mother, who will love pictures of her baby despite the
    faults (in pictures or baby), though she may decide you aren't
    good enough... but she was going to decide that anyway, so who
    cares.)

    >I notice is that sometimes if I use either a SHARPEN or SATURATION
    >filter, it will improve the image quality.


    Does your camera have anything called "exposure compensation" or
    something like that? You might be able to brighten up that old
    boyfriend by just telling the camera that you need "+1.0 EV".
    Some cameras won't be able to do that though... take your pick,
    a new boyfriend or a new camera...

    >My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    >them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    >cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?


    Some people don't like to do that, and they set the camera to
    produce "final" images (in "JPEG mode", using the in camera
    editing, which is what your SHARPEN or SATURATION settings
    amount to) and then they simply discard anything that isn't
    close enough. I happen to really really like playing with
    images on my computer, so I always shoot in what is called "RAW
    mode", with no in camera editing, and then I can adjust each
    image *precisely* at some time later. (Of course that also
    means that I *have* to do that too.)

    --
    Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
    Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)
    Floyd L. Davidson, Dec 10, 2006
    #11
  12. Ron Hunter Guest

    wrote:
    > I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures however
    > sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image will be a
    > little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a shot of my
    > boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to stand back
    > about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.
    >
    > The picture will come out clear, but a little too dark. Another thing
    > I notice is that sometimes if I use either a SHARPEN or SATURATION
    > filter, it will improve the image quality.
    >
    > My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    > them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    > cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?
    >
    > Thank you in advance
    >
    > LEESA (I)
    >


    The answer is yes, IF you insist on shooting flash pictures at beyond
    the recommended flash range. P&S cameras use small flash tubes, which
    due to the size of the camera are located very close to the lens. The
    result is decreased flash range, and higher than normal incidence of
    'red eye'. The problem is exacerbated if you use the optical zoom to
    frame the shot as this seems to confuse the camera about the flash
    brightness. SO, stay within the cameras stated flash range, try to have
    as much ambient light as possible, and don't use zoom at distances
    greater than 10 feet. This should eliminate the need to do post
    processing for the majority of shots.
    Ron Hunter, Dec 10, 2006
    #12
  13. Mike Russell Guest

    > wrote:
    ....
    >> My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    >> them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    >> cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?


    In general, your images should be good enough to print right out of the
    camera. If the images are consistently too dark, or the wrong color, then
    there is something wrong involving some combination of the camera, the
    settings of the camera, and the way you are using it.

    That said, nearly every image, even good ones, can be improved somewhat with
    a certain amount of skilled editing, and of course bad images can be
    improved that much more. I happen to think everyone can benefit from
    learning a little about how to do this.

    If you are at the point where this interests you, there are several good
    free programs out there - Picasa is a good one for Windows, free from
    http://picasa.google.com/ - and try your hand at improving your images with
    cropping, and improving the color and brightness.
    --
    Mike Russell
    www.curvemeister.com/forum/
    Mike Russell, Dec 10, 2006
    #13
  14. Marvin Guest

    wrote:
    > I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures however
    > sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image will be a
    > little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a shot of my
    > boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to stand back
    > about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.


    The maximum range for a flash on an inexpensice camera is
    about 10 feet. Be gald that you can edit the program to
    compensate for the flash's limitation.
    >
    > The picture will come out clear, but a little too dark. Another thing
    > I notice is that sometimes if I use either a SHARPEN or SATURATION
    > filter, it will improve the image quality.


    In my experience, all digital photos or scans of prints or
    negatives benefit from a little sharpening. But thta is a
    matter of appearance, not of true resolution, so it is a
    personal choice.
    >
    > My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    > them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    > cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?


    I edit almost every photo I print, if only to crop iy to the
    aspect ratio of the print. For me, that is an enjoyable
    part of photography, in that I can become creative in a
    different way than in photo snapping. I could have been
    equally creative in film photography, but I never had space
    for a darkroom.

    >
    > Thank you in advance
    >
    > LEESA (I)
    >
    Marvin, Dec 10, 2006
    #14
  15. nick c Guest

    wrote:
    > I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures however
    > sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image will be a
    > little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a shot of my
    > boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to stand back
    > about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.
    >
    > The picture will come out clear, but a little too dark. Another thing
    > I notice is that sometimes if I use either a SHARPEN or SATURATION
    > filter, it will improve the image quality.


    >
    > My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    > them to look good?


    Generally speaking, properly editing pictures will improve their
    appearance.

    > If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    > cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?


    A digital camera is only a tool. More expensive digital cameras allow
    for more control over how the camera (tool) is used, besides having been
    designed to be more efficient as to how well the photographed scene is
    in-camera processed.

    Apparently, with the exception of your in-camera flash capability, you
    appear to be satisfied using the camera that you have. At about the 12
    to 15 feet range the cameras in-flash capability is typically maxed out
    for the ISO setting used and there is insufficient light for the cameras
    meter to read the scene for proper exposure.

    I doubt that you have the following capabilities with your camera, but
    if your camera allows you to set ISO settings, check your ISO setting
    and use a higher ISO setting which will increase the camera light meter
    reading sensitivity. If your camera has the capability to add an
    external flash attachment, procure the proper external flash which will
    increase the amount of light over that being displayed using the
    in-camera flash. The simplicity of these suggestions leads me to think
    you may already know about them, but as they in New York City, it "doin
    hoit" to mention them.

    If you can not utilize either of these suggestions and you do not wish
    to procure another camera or procure somewhat inexpensive software
    which has "fill flash" or similar capability that may aid in correcting
    the problem you have encountered, then recognize what your cameras
    limitations are and use it in a manner that's within its capability. For
    example, if a full length photo of your boyfriend is desired, then
    photograph him in daylight or in a room where there is lots of light,
    allowing the camera to compensate for light temperature.

    If you have access to a photo flood light of the type used with hand
    held motion picture cameras which used tape, which can be plugged into a
    nearby electrical receptacle, by using such a flood light, that would
    significantly improve your cameras capability to be used indoors. FWIW,
    some time ago, in some scenes that were at night time and in daylight, I
    used 12 volt automobile flood lights that I have in my truck, the
    millions of candle power type that can be bought at a Pep Boys store, to
    bounce light scenes. (Shrug), Just be creative and work accordingly.

    The bottom line is, you know what your limitations are, be they
    financial and/or technical. Until one or both progressively improve so
    that prevailing conditions change significantly for you to make
    equipment adjustments (if you desire to do so) as you increase your
    technical knowledge, work within those limitations using a little
    creativity.

    >
    > Thank you in advance
    >
    > LEESA (I)
    >
    nick c, Dec 10, 2006
    #15
  16. Dan Sullivan Guest

    wrote:
    > I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures however
    > sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image will be a
    > little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a shot of my
    > boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to stand back
    > about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.


    FIRST!!!

    Make sure you're shooting with the lens set on the widest angle
    possible!!!

    You still will need to "tweak" a bit.

    But that's the first correction you need to make.

    Best, Dan
    Dan Sullivan, Dec 10, 2006
    #16
  17. writes:

    > I have an inexpensive 3 MP camera that takes very good pictures however
    > sometimes indoors, especially when using flash, the image will be a
    > little bit darker than I like. For instance... if I take a shot of my
    > boyfriend in let's say, a full length suit... I need to stand back
    > about 12 or 15 feet to get a whole body shot.
    >
    > The picture will come out clear, but a little too dark. Another thing
    > I notice is that sometimes if I use either a SHARPEN or SATURATION
    > filter, it will improve the image quality.


    The problem is your flash isn't powerful enough to illuminate the subject at
    the distance you are shooting at, so your camera is underexposing the picture.
    If you have your ISO locked on 100, try using ISO 200 or 400 (but note, as you
    get into higher ISO's, you will either have to do noise reduction yourself, or
    possibly the camera will do it in its heavy handed mannor).

    > My question is.... Should you have to edit your pictures in order for
    > them to look good? If I had one of the more expensive ($300-$500)
    > cameras.... do you sometimes need to edit them?


    As always, the answer is it depends on the specific gear. It is common for
    instance on DSLRs for the camera to do little post processing by default, on
    the asumption that the user will do sharpening, etc. after other post
    processing.

    --
    Michael Meissner
    email:
    http://www.the-meissners.org
    Michael Meissner, Dec 11, 2006
    #17
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