The original image, shot in midday light, included extremely over and under exposed areas. But I liked the horse's attitude, so I threw a variety of Aperture's preset filters at it, including the "toy camera" and "vintage" settings. I couldn't fix the exposure, so I decided to exaggerate it. It's not a great photograph, but it's a lot more interesting than the original, and carries a sense of style.
When I bought my first dslr, I immediately sold all of my film bodies, burning my ships at the shore, so to speak. While the “electronic polaroid back” (lcd screen) is my favorite feature of digital cameras, the computer darkroom is my favorite feature of digital photography. I started using Photoshop at version 2.5, and over the years I’ve swung through phases of extreme over-processing and straight-from-the-camera purism. Nowadays I do 95% of my digital darkroom work in Apple Aperture, and usually limit my post-processing to color and exposure correction, cropping, blemish retouching, and sharpening. But occasionally, I like to play with the filters and brushes. Usually this involves a glass of wine or scotch and a bit of insomnia. And the key word is play. After all, play is the ultimate learning environment. While shooting, I scrupulously avoid the idea that I can “fix” an image in post, but I never let that stop me from playing at the computer to “improve” a photograph.
Again, I took a boring shot and played with it in Aperture. On it's own, it still does not add up to much, but it may prove useful if I start compositing images in Photoshop again.
Here's an interesting case study. I applied my usual sepia wash over the image to overcome strange colors from the stage lights, but then brushed away the sepia on her lips, eyelid, and pendant. It's not a particularly flattering image of the beautiful and alluring Justine Bennett, but I find it compelling and cannot leave it alone. Mostly, these post-processing experiments make me want to get back out and shoot some more. That's a win right there!