Post Processing – At what point do you say, that’s enough.

Posted: January 24, 2017 in Post Processing
Last week I posted this image on the facebook page of the, North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) Group.


One of the viewers commented “This looks overcooked in post processing to me”.
I would tend to agree with this viewer’s opinion, as it does have a somewhat fake look to it, with the supersaturated colors, and the over sharpened subjects.
The other viewer’s feelings differed as the image had almost 500 “likes” and 15 favorable comments, which is far more than my usual 100 or less “likes” and much fewer comments.
That’s 5 times more people liked it, and they didn’t seem to mind the processing.
Post processing and how far we take it is up to each individual as to what they feel looks good.
The great thing about facebook, is that it is somewhat of a focus group for us to see how other photographers react when we do experiment with our post processing.
I really thought that this image would not have generated as many “likes” and comments as it did, and expected the opposite reaction.
But you just never know until you put it out there and see.
This doesn’t mean that from now on I will over process all my images based on this good response.
I do think that this image has a unique look with the processing, but not something I would do on a regular basis.
Hope you like the image and the processing.


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  1. Jennifer Benton says:

    I think it looks great.

  2. I think it depends so much on the individual viewer’s expectations … if you’re a ‘purist’ and don’t agree with post-processing of any kind, prefering the ‘natural’ capture above all else, you are bound to hate it – but if, like me, you look at this image as patterns,colour,shapes etc (design elements) , then it is a super picture to enjoy – which I certainly do!

    • Mike Moats says:

      Thanks Eileen, just as in critiques of images, opinions will always vary from photographer to photographer, and that’s a good thing.

  3. Patrice says:

    Great subject Mike, photography is subjective!

  4. Douglas Berg says:

    Well said Mike. However, I do know some photographers that have this as their “signature look”. I do like the way this particular photo looks and have tried over saturating some of my sea shell shots. I like the pop but you are right, not on all shots.

    • Mike Moats says:

      True, Doug, so photographer do have that look and feel to their images, and apply it to all their images as their style.

  5. jdroach99 says:

    Post processing options become artistic opportunities. What works for one doesn’t for another and at times there is far too many with a narrow perspective. You create fine images. Here is a case where I think you created a wonderful story with color and composition.

  6. I do like the image and I don’t necessarily think it’s over-processed. But, like other art, it’s all up to the individual artist (photographer) and what they see/feel in the image. Processing is a matter of personal choice and preferences. No matter how you take an image and process (or don’t process) it, you’re not going to get 100% positive feedback. There are always going to be viewers who have a different preference. And that’s okay – I honestly think it’s what makes us better. It keeps us thinking and experimenting – it keeps us growing!

  7. Susan Doss-McAleer says:

    I can’t imagine using the same post processing on many images. I post process according to the image it self and where my mind is going with my vision. When I feel it’s complete, I’m finished whether I’m the only one that likes it or not. I am the creator and my opinion is all that matters when creating my vision.

  8. Skip Gorman says:

    I like it. What WAS the processing you used?

    Sent from my iPad Air


  9. Alica Cummings says:

    I absolutely love it! The over processing gives it more of an artsy look, I would gladly hang out in my house! Feel free to im me and I’ll give you my address so you can send it my way! Lol 😉

  10. I love this image and what you did to it in post processing. I tend to overdo my images, or so my husband tells me. So I really like what you did.

  11. Tina Hutton says:

    I think the processing fits the subject.

  12. […] assortment of shells and a Starfish, was created by middle America’s best known macro specialist Mike Moats. Mike is a full-time teacher of close-up photography and is connected with Tamron lenses. He might […]

  13. Ellen Stevens says:

    I really like it and recognize it is processed, but still like the saturation.

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