We need to know how to communicate and express our vision. It doesn’t matter whether you use Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One, Nik Collection, Topaz or any other of the many choices available. What does matter is that you learn what you need to learn to reach the goal line. What matters, first, is that you like what you have created in the field. If you are just learning how to process your images, you might seek honest and constructive feedback on how you might better achieve the image you are looking to create. Down the road, as we learn more, we may find ourselves revisiting earlier images with new skills and even new perspectives on those same images. We might want a “do over.” (I have often thought it would be interesting to select a favorite image and re-process it each month for a year without looking back at earlier versions to see how my frame of mind and new skills transforms that singular image. Perhaps, this is an exercise for me for next year.)
The choices we have (and make) in post are limited only by our imagination and the tools we do or do not have. Same as with our gear, we get to choose what we want and need based on our interests and intentions. They are different for everyone. Think about it. We have aspect ratios, color or black & white, documentary or interpretive and artistic styles to consider. Each image (and subject) lends itself to something different. And, while I print far less often than I used to, our choices in that arena are more diverse than ever. We can print on an array of traditional to fine art papers, metal, glass, canvas and more. I must admit that seeing an image in print, even on a notecard, really does give us that final touch. The experience of a print is visual and tactile, much like turning the pages of a book. Scrolling and clicking and zooming will never stir the soul in the same way. It just won’t.
Some of my photography friends are intentional about organizing collections of images for photo books. Not only are the images carefully selected and edited, but they are preserving memories that could easily disappear forever with the failure of a hard drive. As I write this, I realize that I should print more . . . at least my favorites. No one in my family (or yours) will ever have the time to troll through multiple terabyte drives from many, many years to ferret out our favorites. They just won’t. For that matter, neither will I if I don’t choose to start the process.