Before & After ::: Self Expression in Photography

Artistic Self Expression – a little Rant

I get quite a number of questions about my processing and people wondering what the unprocessed photos look like. I therefore decided to do this post today to show what my typical SOOC(Straight Out Of Camera) photos look like and what I do to them in post process.

I should say, I am NOT a purist photographer, I absolutely dislike plain drab photos however much reality they depict. However I do love good photography..PERIOD! Whether it has been post processed or not(can I be more contradictory?) What do I mean? To me, photography is art, it is expression of something within every photographer. An expression of their innermost being, so if you feel nothing while shooting photography is probably not for you. For different photographers, thy express themselves differently, so who i’m I to judge the product of self expression? I appreciate it even as I acknowledge that it is not for me.

I really get pissed when people attack each other based on their choice of expression. Everyone thinks their style is the best and that all should do what they do, how boring! My only problem with you would be if the only reason you do something is that it’s easy. Every style has it’s own challenges, documentary photographers have to go far & wide & deep & often high to show that shot captured at that particular moment that makes you connect everything. Landscape photographers have to wake up early and battle mosquitoes and God knows what else out there in the wild to capture that stunning sunrise. Everyone who is worth their salt works for their art. They don’t just sit down and make pictures on the comfort of their tush!

No post processing can make up for bad composition. But good postwork can make a great photograph amazing in my eye. The question here is what do you want to communicate. Everything you use is a tool to help you achieve a certain goal. If this is so, then your choice of lens is a tool to achieve something, your style of post processing, your choice of plugins and filters on photoshop is a tool you choose and choose carefully. Take your time to know your tools do not be a lazy bum. If you say that you love something, then work your butt off to get good in it, present yourself an approved workman then stand proud at your achievement. For this there is no shortcut.

Before & After

In this regard, I have put together 3 photos from our Hells gate oneTouch Live to show the image I shot straight off camera and the final image I shared on the blog. Enjoy. Sorry about the rant above. Anything you wish to ask, again I say, I shall answer to the best of my limited knowledge.

For all of the above I first adjusted the basic (saturation, sharpness, contrast). After that I did selective skin smoothing using Nik Software Color Effex pro. This I do on its own layer and then drop its opacity to 60% so that the original skin’s texture is not swallowed by the new softened one. This is important to me. After that I apply a cocktail of filters from onOne phototools to give me whatever color effect I want. I like to go wild once in a while though.


8 thoughts on “Before & After ::: Self Expression in Photography

  1. Well said. I say do what moves you since there will always be those who love it, those who hate it, and the vast majority that won’t care either way. As for hard work, I totally feel you. My hero of the week as far as that goes is Stephen Dalton (

    • I guess that is true. DO it for you and not for anyone else and maybe we see cool stuff. I have seen that guys work wa! he did not wait on chance. That is hard work and the shots are well worth it. Thanks for the comment

  2. Mutua,

    I like your work of art. Do you by any chance have a gallery or attend shows where some can get to see more of your work?


    • Thank you Felix. I do not have a gallery where my work can be seen but may be displaying at a few exhibitions here & there. I shall definitely blog about it when I have a

  3. Love your photography man. I always wait for Mondays to change my phone and laptop wallpaper :)
    As much as I’m a fan of enhancing photos, I must say, in comparison to the original ones, the original ones look so much better. I think each kind of photo (or expression) has its place, when done in ‘the right amount’ can be fully appreciated.
    Anywho, huge fan of urs. When shall you display your work in a gallery? Especially the ones for buildings?

  4. You have a good point, one can’t be a lazy bum and expect awesome results! Plus easy is boring. I love the editing, I prefer it to the originals actually :-P But it’s always a great pleasure working with you, the result is always phenomenal! ;-D And yes, when do I get to see myself…eerrr…ahem, I mean YOUR works, lol, at a gallery? ;-)

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