I try to follow the blogs of everyone that I know of or had contact with through this little site of mine. Not just to be nice but there are some DAMN fine photographers out there that actually "get me" surprisingly enough. Some of them "Pro's" some of them just DAMN fine photographers that happen to make money in other ways (probably more profitable). In any case if you haven't ever taken the time to checkout some of the links to readers blogs that they provide - be sure to do so. I am pretty sure you will find someone that you will learn something from, be inspired by, or even make friends with - they might be close by.
In any case I just started following Patrick La Roque's blog today - must have missed his along the way somewhere. A fellow Aperture user that is taunting me to grab an X100. In any case he has a nice post on Aperture 3 post processing that I wanted to share and also to comment on. I agree with everything he says in his take - good ideas all of them along with some unique tips. Especially the ones about reducing some of the contrast/saturation/definition selectively where it might not belong - He doesn't say it quite this way but hits on something that is really really good to know - it's not about how bright ALL THE COLOR is, or HOW CONTRASTY all of the image is, or HOW DEFINED it all is. It's all about how the relationships in the image work to give you an impression. In a lot of cases low saturation image overall with some fantastic color contrast in a particular part will come off as MORE. Just read it.
The thing he brings up that is also worth discussion is a point about how just about everything you see has some sort of post and how most photographers are "embarrassed" to show OOC images. I agree - just about everything you see has some (large) degree of post. I am not sure this is a great thing - yes yes - the in camera JPEGs have some sort of "post" - heck RAWs have the RAW interpreters "post", yes black and white prints have some sort of "post" - etc etc. They do but not to the degree that we all see them once presented to the public. One of the reasons that I am not sure this is a good thing is because when you are looking at images in the context of photographers talking to photographers it's not really that clear about the amount of "post". In fact I have complained over and over again about how misleading most of the "educational" material out there is when I look at the images associated with the "education" that have been clearly "post processed" but they are positioned as "minimal" or even "none". Complete bullshit.
I guess you could rationalize this in saying that "The audience should understand what is what - they have eyes don't they?". I think this rationalization is bullshit, especially if the "education" is on in-camera technique things such as lighting. The vast majority of photographers out there that will be reading that kind of material does not have a ton of experience in separating what is a lighting effect vs what is a post-processing effect so they follow the recipe exactly as presented and end up with results that look nothing like the author's or presenter's. They thing they did something "wrong" - they attribute it to the wrong things like their camera, their lens, something - when actually it was that "minimal" or "no" post that was actually not - "none".
While I can see the rationale about not showing retail consumers your OOC images if you are "selling" that client I think it's poppycock not to show photographers that you are trying to "educate" either for "free" or for profit through workshops, etc. In fact if you already have sold a job to an art director, etc. I think its poppycock not to show them work OOC for their job. I would hate to be "embarrassed" by my OOC images. Maybe I come from a time gone by but jesus, whatever happened to showing clients contact sheets that were pretty much "OOC" standard C41 or E6 film that was contact printed? God, even in digital I shot tethered so the MUA, art-director, etc could actually help me.
Ps. I think it is far more interesting to see photographers contact sheets and OOC results in many was their work product in a lot of contexts than it is to see the washed-ironed-and-dryed final product. Maybe I depend on the audience here to understand what OOC results actually look like. They don't have to be "flat" and "bad" of course they can be juiced up and even made "perfect" with a little "minimal" post but who cares if you are talking about how a camera or lens behaves, talking about shooting, or talking about lighting.
Sorry for the rant - read Patrick's post.
If you see anything here that is NOT OOC you will know exactly what "minimal" was. Please hold me to that as if I miss something I surely intend to be transparent .