Where to draw the line? (on PP?)

Started Jun 10, 2008 | Discussions thread
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Where to draw the line? (on PP?)
Jun 10, 2008


First, I want to thank everyone who have been so incredibly helpful over the last five months that I have participated on the Retouch forum. My PP skills have greatly increased by many folds, both from your advice and from practicing on others' photo when time permits.

Now I face a little dilemma in deciding when and when not to PP. Because I now have more skills and more efficient (although far from the level of many of you), I can easily see what can be done to most of my photographs. I am resisting to do so, mainly because of time limitation. I try to stick with Lightroom to PP photos that I think need only basic and universal image adjustments and cropping/rotating. I mainly reserve extensive PP to ones that seem to be of high value but needs layers, cloning/healing and masking. But even with this meta work flow, I am still struggling to come up with a good decision process. I am in the middle of processing my last outing, and most of the processing has been in LR. You can see the set at


If you have any suggestions for any particular picture, that would be useful. But here, I am more interested in deciding how to prioritize which photos should receive extensive work (e.g., take out certain unwanted parts, dealing with motion blur, etc.). I also had a similar issue with a set of wedding photograph of a relative, which unfortunately I cannot share. I have a greater degree of option because I don't shot for pay, but I do share my photographs with the "clients".

So, I would love to hear from others about how they decide on which photos to PP, how extensive, etc. What guidelines do you use? Typically, how much time do you spend processing a photo when going beyond simple universal image adjustments? How do you know when enough is enough? Do you sometime find yourself too engaged in PP?

I know that there are no simple answers because each photograph is different and has different challenges. But any thoughts you have would be very useful as I try to determine for myself the balance between time devoted to shooting and processing, and between simple processing and extensive processing.

Thank you in advance.

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