Now if I can get a photograph perfect straight out of camera (SOOC) then thats great!! There is nothing better than getting that right!! This is what I strive for every time I shoot but there are times that this isn't the case. Sometimes you have to rely on your vision, you can see the possibilities and yet they are not going to happen SOOC. This is where editing can help you realise that vision. Its important to learn every tool you can to help you, photography is an art form like any other art form and without vision, creativity and knowledge you will almost always be disappointed with what your photographs turn out like.
Anyway before I ramble (too much) here is an example of what I mean. I took this photograph the other day at the zoo and although the colour of flamingoes is just gorgeous I was more attracted by the way they were standing in the light. There seemed to be a very rich contrast of colours and light. So here is the SOOC:
Pretty boring photograph hey!!! There wasn't a lot of space to move around and there were a lot of trees around the pond so I had to make do with what was available to me. I loved the reflection of the bird in the water and knew that I wanted that, the bird and a bit of the darker background in the shot and then I could work with it from there.
This is the edited version of the same shot. Big difference hey!
I obviously cropped the image to take away the other distracting elements in the shot. I cropped it to a vertical shot over a horizontal one in order to emphasis the reflection more. I converted it to black and white in order to show the light contrasts without the distraction of the colour. And then the rest was like painting, using the cloning tool, healing brush and dodge and burn in Photoshop.
I hope that you enjoyed this before and after!! I really want to start 2012 off on a positive note and I hope this also makes you see that the possibilities are endless!! Whatever you want to achieve there is always a way ;)