Once upon a time I thought perhaps I could get good enough to avoid post-production — to provide a true representation of reality. And then I realised that all my favourite images from all of my favourite photographers were (subtly and tastefully) tweaked.
I still work diligently to get everything right in the camera. But I also use the editing features of Adobe Lightroom extensively. A lot of photographers I’ve talked to feel the same way I do about Lightroom:
“It was made for me!”
While it’s rare that I think an image needs more tweaking than I can give it in Lightroom, it does happen sometimes. But I draw the line at remodelling someone’s face or body.
That’s a step too far for me.
The point here is to get to a place where you feel comfortable with your post-production work — we are in an era when nearly everyone is expecting some degree of post-production on their images. Knowing how to apply even the most radical edits and effects doesn’t mean that you have to.