Noshappu Lighthouse Sunset

Developing Your Style and Self-Acceptance (Podcast 635)

In this post, I discuss some of the techniques I use to save time in post-processing of my images, and how this leads us to form a style, and I talk about self-acceptance as a photographer.

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Jeffrey Ross
    Posted at 11:09h, 17 October Reply


    This isn’t a post, it is a textbook! There is so much here to read and absorb. Thank you for taking time to share all of this. I have just started to use Capture One and I am going to go back and re-read this entire post. I didn’t have a lot of time today, but there is so much good information that I need to consider. I am particularly interested in your discussion about RAW/Raw/raw.

    I listen to your podcasts as I am driving. Thanks for those too!

    Sincere thanks and regards,

    Jeff Ross

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 14:10h, 17 October Reply

      Hee hee, thanks Jeff!

      I’m pleased you found this useful.

      On the raw format, I always suspected that it was not an acronym, but the camera manuals pretty much all use RAW. Jeffrey Friedl put me straight once when I used RAW, and it has stuck. It really is raw image information for us to cook into the final image, even just with the default settings of our processing software.

      Thanks for listening, and following along. I hope you continue to enjoy the podcasts and posts.


  • andrew cooper
    Posted at 13:55h, 17 October Reply

    this is an excellent primer review of where we all should be looking to get the very best from our sensor.
    i listened in bed this morning, but have hastened to my desktop to see the images and appreciate fully your pearls of wisdom.
    Looking forward to the second part next week.
    I have taken the liberty of posting the link to our camera club Facebook site as i feel so many people will gain from the 40 minutes instruction.

    Keep up the excellent work

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 14:11h, 17 October Reply

      Thanks Andrew! It’s great that you found this useful.

      Thanks for sharing with your camera club too. Take as many of those liberties as you like. 🙂


  • John
    Posted at 15:06h, 17 October Reply

    Hi Martin
    Concerning statement. 1st Para of Non-Destructive Editing.

    …once you do that, you lose the ability to easily update your photographs to the latest and greatest versions of the processing Engines…
    I think you can for Photoshop. Place the RAW image in PS as a linked smart object (Place Linked) adjustments can be made to the original RAW file outside of PS. This will be flagged in the PS, choose “Update Modified Content”
    Or Sent to PS as a smart object, which is a copy of your RAW data which can be readjusted with ACR.

    This is not a destructive baked in workflow is it? To me this gives me the ability to use the power of PS for tonal & colour processing without loosing my ability to work with my original RAW file.

    Best Regards
    John Wilson

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 20:54h, 17 October Reply

      Hi John,

      I see what you are saying, but in your scenario, aren’t you processing the raw file with Adobe Camera Raw? If for example, you were working in Capture One Pro, the only way you could send your changes to Photoshop in the first place would be to create a PSD file. If you just send the raw file, Photoshop doesn’t know about the changes you made.

      Conversely, if you take the base raw file into Photoshop and do your changes, then go back to Capture One Pro, surely it wouldn’t know about any changes made in Photoshop unless you bake them into a file that Capture One Pro or any other software understands.

      Of course, if you only ever intend to work on your images in Photoshop, then I can see that your method would work, but then you are basically making Photoshop your image management environment, right? That would require the use of Bridge or something to manage your images. If that’s your workflow, then yes, I agree you can benefit from updates to the processing engine. My statement is really about working in Photoshop as an editor from a third party application, not a Photoshop-based workflow.

      If I’m missing your point, do let me know. I’d love to know if there is a way to do this that I’ve missed.


  • Adnan Adam Onart
    Posted at 23:12h, 17 October Reply

    Hello Martin,

    This is one of the best photography podcast episodes I have listened lately: Not just informative but insightful. Informative in its covering technical subjects related to exposure, post-processing, etc. But insightful in anchoring those considerations in workflow decisions, even in lifestyle deliberations with an eye on self-improvement. Illustrative sample photographs and before-after pictures are icing on the cake. Very well done. Thank you.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:55h, 18 October Reply

      Thanks so much for the comment and pat on the back Adnan!

      I’m really pleased that you found this post useful.


  • David Ramsey
    Posted at 10:52h, 19 October Reply

    Martin – as usual, a very useful post. Your point about each photographer having his/her own preferences for post-processing is well taken. There have been many other photographers that have made it their mantra to “get it right in camera,” and claim that spending more than 5 minutes in post processing means that the photograph isn’t worth showing.. Often that is followed by some claim that the photographer would rather be out shooting then working on an image on the computer, as if working your image in post is a sin of some sort. I find this to be complete nonsense. For those photographers it seems that it is not enough to espouse their preferred method of shooting/processing, but to denigrate photographers who prefer other methods of producing a final image. I understand your well-thought through preferences but also suggest that many of us enjoy the process of working on a photo in post.

    I think it is equally valid to say that while I will try to get my exposure and composition as best as I can in the field, I may still feel comfortable substantially working the image in post. And that may include not only cropping, when necessary, but cloning out small image imperfections that distract from the image or using luminosity masks to better refine part of the image. It is often a significant series of very subtle modifications that turns an image into a striking work of art (IMO). . Sometimes we are fortunate to take a photograph that is so well done in the field that it requires minor edits to produce a final image. But just as often, at least for me, I find an image that I’m satisfied with from a compositional point of view, but because the camera does a less than perfect job of converting the scene before us into a faithful reproduction, I have no fear off working it to a point where it may not only be a better reproduction than the camera took, but also enhances the mood I felt when standing in that location.

    I know you well enough Martin to know that you can be an absolute master in working with software, so I do not at all suggest that it is anything but a creative decision on your part to avoid taking many of your photos into Photoshop. While you have induced me to become a fan of Capture One, I still find that some of the things I can now do in Capture One 11, are easier for me to accomplish in PS. It may be that after many years, I’m just more comfortable in PS that C1 and perhaps that may change as my facility with C1 improves. But I suspect that even if I became more proficient in C1, there are certain things that, artistically, I can better accomplish in PS.

    Thanks again for another terrific post.


    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 20:44h, 19 October Reply

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for the great comment!

      I’m pleased you understand and appreciate my perspective on this. I don’t necessarily want to get it right in camera, as sometimes my shooting methods require that I darken the images down a little for mood or effect, but I do generally want to be careful enough that I am not “rescuing” images. as such. Also cropping as necessary is something that I’m not aversed to. I’m pleased you brought that up. I’ll probably include that in my composition related post next week.

      As for creating “striking works of art” I’d like to think that I do too, but my methods help me to get to them with less work, and generally for me, Capture One Pro gives me enough processing options to do this without jumping into a third party plugin or Photoshop. I have seen work that is taken to a much higher level from extensive Photoshop work though, and I applaud anyone that has that patience, but at the same time, think that some of that type of work can be “overcooked”. The trick in my opinion, for people that do a lot of post-processing, is to try to keep the image looking natural, while refining and raising it above what the raw image captured.

      I fully agree with your point about taking the image to point that the camera alone can’t quite take it. Again, this is something that I do, but don’t require a lot of extra time, because of the methods I use, and my understanding of Capture One Pro. I can just generally do that work very quickly, even when a little masking and cloning etc. is required.

      Thanks for the vote of confidence about my creative choices in your final paragraph. I know that you know where I’m m coming from with this stuff, and for sure, working in a program that you are comfortable with is important. The most important thing is creating images that we are happy with, regardless of how we get there..


  • Monica Lord
    Posted at 02:55h, 10 December Reply

    If it isn’t too much trouble I’d love to know what Graeme Nattress told you about the reason to ETTR that’s different from the Luminous Landscape article.

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