So How Much Is Too Much?

I took a picture. I was up in North Wales visiting the in-laws, which is always a good opportunity to go out and take a few shots. I love walking out in Snowdonia, and they live right at its northernmost edge. So up the hills I went and then down into the next valley – walking in Wales is like that. Llanfairfechan was where I ended up. In a shady little spot with a lovely rock-strewn river running under a wooden bridge.

This was a perfect opportunity to try out some long-exposure water shots. You know, the kind that make the water go all silky.

But… ah… no tripod.

Find a rock. Something conveniently sited, at a good, low angle and… click. So I took a few and moved on.

Once we got back to the Island, where I live, I downloaded the pics fairly confident that I would get something useable. But no. The Electronic Viewfinder had let me down again (they have a tendency to do that) and as usual had made things look more crisp than they really were.

But there was one shot. One that just might be useable. Fiddled with contrast, fiddled with saturation, cropped, generally mucked about with. No dice.

There was only one way to rescue this. Go mad…

So I upped the saturation waaay up. I put in some vignetting, changed the colour balance and put on a film grain filter, messed about with the contrast and came up with THIS

Suddenly, a photograph that was lost, seems to have become acceptable. But is that amount of post-processing right? Is any post-processing right? Is the software taking over the skills of composition and care. In short are computers making photographers lazy? Why bother composing when you can take a shot and crop it? Why bother with correct exposures when you can dicker about with it later? I wish I had the answers. But I don’t. Art is so damn subjective…

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