Is Post Processing More Important Than In-Camera Work?

Composition, camera settings, location and processing combine to make a great photo

I have posted a lot of photography videos this year. About half of them are topics about the actual taking of the exposure with the camera. The other half are about post-processing the captures. And there's a reason for that. For me, that's the balanced equation of photography. The yin and the yang. Both need to come together to make a great photo.

Your technical abilities with the camera, your eye for composition, the settings on your camera... this is the first part of making a great photo.  Yes, choices like aperture, ISO, focus and exposure influence the capture, but you basically capture the scene in a raw form. At the computer, you pair your camera abilities with your post-processing workflow. Tools like Lightroom, ON1 and Photoshop. You craft your raw capture into something unique, that shares a little of you in it.

I find it interesting that my videos on post-processing are much more popular than those on composition, location scouting or camera settings. And I'm not entirely sure why. 

  • Is post processing more important? I don't think so.
  • Is it folks are more comfortable with their cameras than their post processing tools? Maybe.
  • Is it post-processing is seen as "magical" and can fix anything? Maybe (and that's a myth).
  • Is it that on-location videos fail to really convey the choices a photographer makes? Could be.
  • Is it that it's harder to learn to operate your camera from a video? In person is better? Could be.

As I'm writing this, I think there is something in those last two questions. Some learning is easier live. Or when you can follow along with an instructor, change camera settings, try different compositions, see a location through another person's eyes all while actually there. 

What do you think?

And the bonus question... what kind of photography video do you want to watch that you don't see a lot of online?