What’s post processing?

This is for those people who don’t know what it means.

Post-processing – What it means.
In digital photography the terms post-production, post-processing or image editing refers to work that is done on digital data files after they have been captured as a photograph in a digital camera. The processing stage is a term used for all activities after shooting which lead to the completion of the work.

Image Editors
Normally an image file is opened in an image editing software application to change, or edit, the file in order to improve or enhance it or to realise an artistic vision. There are many different types of photograph editing software applications starting with Adobe Photoshop® and Adobe Lightroom®. The principle important functions for any image editing software are:

·         Adjusting exposure, contrast and brightness,
·         Adjusting colours, hues, tones, saturation and light levels
·         File cropping
·         Straighten image, insert pre-set shapes, draw lines, erase
·         Cut, paste, insert, crop-out and ‘fit-to’ selected parts
·         Change colour hues, tones shades, lighten and darken
·         To change sizes/shapes etc. – brushes, pens, shapes, tools
·         Resizing the file dimensions appropriated to the intended use
·         Retouching to remove dust spots, and other  imperfections.
·         Basic set of software effects and filters

Image editors also have the capability to create or remove components of the image. New components of the image can be artfully created using painting tools, eraser tools and drawing tools. It is also possible to artificially over-write parts of the image using sections of the image from elsewhere. This ‘cloning’ is to disguise features or wipe them out. The process is used to take out unwanted parts of the image and make it look like it was never there.

Image file editing, and what may be achieved, depends on the post-processing editor. The available tools, plug-ins and extensions for all editors on the market are impossible to catalogue. The field is changing rapidly too. In Adobe Photoshop®, one of the industry leaders, there are enough tools and techniques that most tasks can be completed several different ways. There are a long list of filters, plug-ins and tools which can also be added to the original software installation.