If you ever wonder why it takes so long to process my photos, here’s a great example why.
Aside from the volume of photos taken on a trip, let me first reiterate the biggest reason for the delay: I shoot in a RAW format. As such, each photo is completely unaltered, unlike a photo you would take in automatic mode or with a mobile phone. You see, unless you shoot RAW, the camera applies various adjustments in the background to make the photo look nicer–a tweak of the contrast, saturating the colour and sharpening the image–all done without your control. I prefer to handle these tweaks myself, once I download the photos to my computer. This gives me greater control over the image but at the cost of time.
As an example, I’ll often under or overexpose a shot to get more detail which I can bring back in post-processing, such as with the photo above. When I saw this lady walking toward the church door—down a tiny side street in Bayeux, Normandy—my intention was that it would make a wonderful black and white photo. And it does. There’s great tone in the shadows and wonderful detail on the church wall. What I didn’t notice at the time was the quality of the light which, in turn, complements the reds of the wooden door. Even the shadows have great warmth to it.
So which photo do I prefer? Well, the black and white does make it look as if it could have been taken 50 years ago, and that’s pretty cool. But, the warmth of the colour photo alone is enough to win me over.
Of course, I’ll keep both. Because I can.