125 — How Much Post Processing is Too Much — Interview w/ Darwin Wiggett and Sam Chrysanthou

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #125 fea­tures an inter­view with pho­tog­ra­phers Dar­win Wiggett and Sam Chrysan­thou (apolo­gies to Sam for muck­ing up her name) of oopoomoo.com where we talk about post pro­cess­ing in pho­tog­ra­phy and how much post-processing is too much.

Thanks to The Cam­era Store (The largest cam­era store in Cal­gary, Alberta, Canada)  for spon­sor­ing the Photography.ca podcast.

In this pod­cast we get into talk­ing about the dif­fer­ences between pho­tog­ra­phers and dig­i­tal artists in this chang­ing age where any­thing seems to go photography-wise. This dis­cus­sion pod­cast is inspired by a blog post by Dar­win where he asked How Far is too Far?  The post refers to Darwin’s pho­to­graph of an owl and a swal­low shot at the same time, but shot as two sep­a­rate files that were blended together in Pho­to­shop after capture.

What do you think, did Dar­win go too far?

Great Grey Owl and Tree Swallow on Fence - Composite image by Darwin Wiggett

Great Grey Owl and Tree Swal­low on Fence — Com­pos­ite image by Dar­win Wiggett


Butterfly and Flower - Composite image by Darwin Wiggett

But­ter­fly and Flower — Com­pos­ite image by Dar­win Wiggett


In-camera capture by Sam Chrysanthou using a long exposure and a flashlight. The results look surreal but the effect is in-camera not post production

In-camera cap­ture by Sam Chrysan­thou using a long expo­sure and a flash­light. The results look sur­real but the effect is in-camera, not post production


It goes with­out say­ing that both Dar­win and Sam DO post-process their images but they spend min­i­mal time doing so. They just released an e-book out­lin­ing the short­cuts they use to process their images and they rely mostly on Adobe Bridge and Pho­to­shop to do their edit­ing. The book is called 7 Quick & Dirty Pro­cess­ing Short­cuts for Lazy Pho­tog­ra­phers.

Links /resources men­tioned in this podcast:

How Far is too Far?
Should We Change the Word Pho­tog­ra­phy?
7 Quick & Dirty Pro­cess­ing Short­cuts for Lazy Photographers

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Thanks as well to Terry Babij who posted com­ments directly on the blog.  Although ALL com­ments are appre­ci­ated, com­ment­ing directly in this blog is pre­ferred. Thanks as well to all the new mem­bers of the bul­letin board.

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You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player.

Thanks for lis­ten­ing and keep on shoot­ing! Happy New Year everyone!


  1. Don Crasco says:

    Com­pos­ite photography(“no one seems to care any more”) is not pho­tog­ra­phy, but an adul­ter­ation of real­ity. I per­son­ally find it to be very dis­ap­point­ing; when not labeled as a com­pos­ite, I find it to be morally corrupt !

    • Marko Kulik says:

      Thanks for com­ment­ing and every­one is enti­tled to their opin­ion Don — and I’m not sure what your pho­tog­ra­phy back­ground is.
      That said, Com­pos­ite pho­tog­ra­phy has been around for over 150 years. I’d bet hard most pho­tog­ra­phers that have been around a while would dis­agree with your sug­ges­tion that it is not photography.

      I do agree with labelling though but that’s a whole other story.

  2. Hi Marko,

    I just dis­cov­ered your pod­cast this morn­ing and I really enjoyed it! This was a great topic of dis­cus­sion and I think the casual style of con­ver­sa­tion is very easy to lis­ten to.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some old episodes to go lis­ten to…



  1. […] Les­son: Pho­to­shop makes any­thing pos­si­ble, but you gotta tell peo­ple when things are not real! In the tran­si­tion days while I was still shoot­ing film and wait­ing for dig­i­tal cam­eras to become a con­tender in terms of qual­ity to my medium for­mat cam­era, I did a lot of Pho­to­shop com­pos­ite work in the dig­i­tal dark­room. I would scan my slides into dig­i­tal for­mat and then mess with them in the com­puter mak­ing scenes that did not exist except in my imag­i­na­tion. In this image I took a cow­girl and her horse from a shot I did in British Colum­bia and put her into Wilcox Pass in Jasper National Park (where horses are not allowed, by the way).  After peo­ple viewed the image and found out it was a com­pos­ite, they often felt really betrayed. So after that, any time I posted one of my com­pos­ite images I made men­tion of the fact. I used to mark com­pos­ite images on the thumb­nails on my web­site so peo­ple could decide if they wanted to view ‘fake’ images or not. No one really seems to care much any more if an image is real or not espe­cially since most pho­tos out there today look fan­ci­ful with all the dig­i­tal dark­room work done to them. Even so it is still impor­tant to let peo­ple know about com­pos­ite images so they can decide the value of the image to them as view­ers. Saman­tha and I talk about this idea of ‘how far is too far in post pro­cess­ing’ in a recent pod­cast inter­view over at Photography.ca […]

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