How Much is too Much?

I have been debating this every time I open an image in Photoshop. I talked to my Dad about it in regards to my wildlife work. It is hard to look at my photographs now without seeing imperfections that i want to get rid of. There is always something there that I don’t like. Now I still hold to true to not touching my Wildlife images in any form of post work with the exception of making really big prints, no way around that one. However with aviation there is finishing work that needs to be done, and is unavoidable.

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This is a Grumman Duck photographed last April at Fantasy of Flight down in Florida. This was part of the Air to Air Workshop that my Dad along with Richard Vandermeulen and Doug Rozendaal host. Now our usual platform is a Skyvan however the plane we had broke down the morning of the flight, I’m afraid that happens with aircraft, nothing you can do about it. So they provided us with a Twin Otter as a replacement. Well it got the job done but wasn’t great. The rear door on the left pilot side, left, came off and the nine of us shot out of it. Now as you can see there is a head in my shot, that’s because I was in the back row, which was fine they were paying participants and deserved best seat, but for me it made a rather big imperfection in the shot.

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Now there I had one of two options either leave this shot alone, not use it, and let it sit on my hard drives collecting dust or remove the head in post. Obviously I chose to remove the head. I like the shot, and to me it was the right decision. But while i was working on this image, it made me think about what is to much and what isn’t. This isn’t by any means a new rant, most photographers have this rant every month, it just comes with the territory. What we choose to do is totally up to ourselves. But i wanted to make it clear that whenever post work can be avoided, it’s not only a more efficient use of time because it’s less time per image and more for other projects but also it makes photographers push harder on their own photography.

Camera Gear:

Nikon D3, 70-200 VRII, TC-17e, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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