DIGITAL POST PRODUCTION
Camera skills are certainly the core of photography, but post production (just like darkroom skills in the past) play a crucial role in the finishing of a photographic image. I use a wide range of basic and advanced processing techniques to finish my images, and prepare them for printing.
Basic Post Production
Even the most perfect camera image can benefit from basic post production. Until 2008, this was done using Adobe Photoshop, but since then, increasingly my workflow utilizes Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - a much more appropriate program with a the same heritage.
As good as digital SLR cameras are, they do have a significant drawback - a set and limited resolution. With a digital camera there is a fixed amount of resources (resolution) to be enlarged, and when this resource is exceeded, the image quality drops rapidly. Technology will improve (endlessly so, it would appear) and higher resolution cameras will be developed but for the moment the only way to overcome the limited resolution of a digital camera is to put together multiple images to create higher-resolution files to print from.
At times, even with the best of lenses, it is impossible to achieve enough depth of field. In cases like this, focus stacking is an option to increase depth of field. A focus stack combines multiple images, focused at different distances, and then uses advanced software to combine the in-focus part into a final image.
Shutter Speed Blending
By combining two images with the an identical composition but different shutter speeds, it is possible to create an image which would have been impossible with traditional photography - a photograph combining two different exposure times within the same frame.