For me post processing is just as much part of the creative process as taking the photograph itself. When I take a photo I find myself already thinking of how I'm going to do in post process, which decisions to take regarding lighting, noise regulation or whether the image would be better in black and white. It's nice to be at a point where I feel confident in the technicalities of taking the photo and the main chunk of the post processing and can therefor really focus on my end vision of the image.
For this exercise I'd like to show how I have processed the image that I used in the balance exercise. Here's the raw version:
In order to get my composition right, I start off with cropping and levelling the image. After that I make basic adjustments in the exposure, shadow and highlights and add contrast, especially in the mid tones.
My goal of this image is to show the man in relation with the space behind the curtain and the pillars. Because the white wall in the back is too distracting, I'm going to crop the image a bit more and make local adjustments in order to darken the back and lighten the guy.
I'm happy with the composition now, but still don't think the man stands out enough. I'm going to convert the image in black and white and lighten the blues and darken the reds and oranges and see what happens. Now the pattern on the cloth will be more visible and the man will be more separated from the wall. I'm also going to add more mid contrast on the floor, to bring out the patterns of the tiles.
I'm happy with the end result, but I think it's a pity to have lost the beautiful blue wall and contrast with the red shirt, although I think in this case the conversion to black and white has helped in stressing the composition and show the textures of the tiles, columns and gravity more. I'm going to convert it back to colour, but keep the same local adjustments of contrast and exposure.
I like this one best. The red on the shirt and pillars and graffiti work well together and help the eye to wonder around in the image, the same with the blue on the cloth and on the door. Now I'll leave it for a day or two and see if I still like it and otherwise make some more adjustments.