My workshop revisited and thoughts on the post-processing tutorial.


I know that I’m not posting to the blog very consistently, but hey, it’s challenging to think up meaningful content, while you’re also busy doing many other things. I’ll get better.

About the above photo – “Jodhpur Sweets-Maker”. It belongs to Kym Morris, the talented young woman who joined me for a private photo workshop around off-the-beaten-track Rajasthan. This was my favorite image of hers from our workshop. I remember that I was a little surprised when she showed it to me.

It’s not like Kym was clueless before the workshop, she already possessed a certain kind of vision, the stuff she was shooting was not captivating, but solid and the potential shone through. Once the workshop started I could see improvements every couple of days, but then in the final few days of the workshop I saw this shot and it was a few levels above anything else.

To me the image is the accumulation of much of what I tried to get across during the workshop (in regards to photographing on the streets) and that’s why I was so proud to see it. The things I spoke about – recognizing a photogenic situation, textures, color harmony and soft natural light – they are all here. On top of that there’s even a little motion blur in the hand, that makes the whole thing really come alive.

I guess some photography enthusiasts just need to be put onto the right path, then everything clicks and a transformation occurs. These are the people who can benefit most from a workshop (not just mine, I already mentioned some guys that I respect on my blog) and these are the photographers, Kym included, who I feel could find success photographing professionally.

Kym does not have a website yet, but she has a couple of images on “Onexposure”. I’m sure there will be more soon. 

I’m thinking that it may be worthwhile to do a workshop in Indonesia next – Bali to East Java. This trip would really focus on what it’s like to be a travel photographer. The locations would vary, from tourist hotspots and spectacular landscapes like the Bromo volcano to absolutely unknown gems and photographing traditional villagers and fishermen.

These parts of Indonesia have lots to offer, just as much as India in many respects. Again I’d either make it a private workshop or something very small scale. My whole thing is reducing any impact on traditional villages. The last thing I want is more children running up to foreigners and screaming demands for pens, chocolates and money.

Once everything is in place, I’ll have the info on my website. Anyone who thinks this may be a thing for them, contact me here or via the email on my website. It’d definitely be a journey-of-a-lifetime type of experience.

To all those who have enquired about a post-processing tutorial – If I make one, I would like to make it rather good, spend a bit of time on it, go into detail. There’s some theory that I think is very necessary to understand before going crazy with new PP techniques and I’d like to touch up on it. There are just too many people replicating catchy post-processing techniques that just scream at you, but they’re doing it all wrong, without understanding. I don’t want to encourage that with my tutorials.

Anyhow, the tutorial would have illustrations, step-by-step how to, examples and a few words that touch up on the “Why?”. It’d take me some time to make one and I figure that charging from US$10-15 for a PDF would not be unfair. The money ain’t much for knowledge, but goes a long way for someone traveling around Asia – US$10 is basically a day’s worth of budget traveling in India:).

If anyone thinks that this way of delivering the tutorial is not a bad idea – tell me. If you think it’s rubbish, well, also tell me.

20 Responses to “My workshop revisited and thoughts on the post-processing tutorial.”

  1. Joe Says:

    When I saw the thumbnail of Kym’s photos on 1x I thought it was yours, though the processing seems to be slightly different. Very interesting neverthless!

    Even as a uni student, I wouldn’t mind paying for a PDF tutorial that you spend time putting together. They charge us grossly more for a course in spreadsheets & database applications!

    I’ve been reluctant to use Photoshop because I have seldom needed its functions, but Lightroom 2 is hugely helpful to my workflow. Would you consider covering both eventually?

  2. Heimana Says:

    Very nice pic indeed!
    Well yes, it would be a very interesting thing to have a pdf with a good tutorial on PP… especially with Lightroom as Joe say. I also don’t use much PS for tweaking my images, just LR to contrast, color and reframe (sometimes) my RAWs…

    Also I’d love to attend the kind of workshop you want to offer but unfortunately can’t afford it for the moment, I’ll have to find something nearer… for now! But definitely sure it’s important to be set on tracks by a pro!

  3. Dave Says:


    The pdf tutorial is a good idea but have you considered doing a screencast (a recording of your screen and mouse clicks as you talk through the tutorial)?

    I guess it depends on what kind of tutorial you had in mind but screencasts seem to work well for image processing type tutes.

    Here’s a link for free and commercial apps for screencasts :


  4. Mitchell Says:

    Joe and Heimana, I’m not that crazy about Lightroom personally, but a lot of the stuff would be applicable to Lightroom too. However I do work with layers/layer masks and I feel that it is much more comfortable to work in Photoshop to really fine tune an image.
    It is not about making global changes to contrast, colour etc. rather it is about specifically “painting” inside of areas that need to be tweaked. Lightroom has a feature where you can adjust parts of an image, for example lighten the eyes or darken an overexposed piece of clothing, but I still feel that it’s not quite as easy to use as Photoshop’s features. By the way, Photoshop CS4 has a similar feature in camera RAW (before you bring the image into Photoshop itself you can adjust exposure/contrast/saturation/clarity for any particular part of an image. This feature works quite well too). In any case the idea behind this whole thing is similar across the two programs, but the final tweaks require Photoshop. I guess I’ll have to keep in mind the popularity of Lightroom and will refer to it as much as possible.
    Dave: Thanks for that link, great source of info. I think I will do something like that eventually, but it’s a little too much for me for the moment and I might need some vocal training:).

  5. Mark Says:

    As a newbie, I would pay $10-$15 for a detailed, examples-filled post-processing PDF provided it:
    1. Uses tools newbies have access to (i.e. Photoshop Elements – yes, Capture Raw – yes, LR – maybe, CS4 Extended – no). If you ok with showing how to do things in multiple programs, that obviously works.
    2. Explained the “whys” along with “hows”.
    3. Again, lottsa (10+) before and after shots, lottsa different situational examples (this one is a portrait, so for skin tones I did X, Y and Z, this one is a landscape, this one is a street photography example. Et cetera, et cetera.)
    4. Tips and tricks.

    In summary, such tutorial maybe a lot of work to put together; on the other hand it could grow into a book which would be a perfect companion to the upcoming “Within the Frame” book by David since your style and David’s are very similar in my newbie opinion.

    Again, thank you for your phenomenal blog.

  6. David Says:

    Mitchell, first time posting but I love the idea of a more in-depth tutorial. The screencast idea from an earlier comment is a good idea as you get to see the process happening. But either way, I would pay for for the great content.


  7. Glen Goffin Says:

    I would buy that tutorial in a heartbeat. I hope you do get the opportunity to create it because it would soon become moth-eared from use. Can a PDF become moth-eared? Ok, I would wear out the sectors on my disk. I would especially welcome your ‘color commentary’ on the why’s of what you do. There is no doubt that your work (and Kym’s above) have a inner luminosity that brings them to life and I think it is more than just the HDR-ish techniques that you apply but your artists eye on what to dodge and what to burn and how much. Blessings! Glen

  8. Brock Says:

    I’d buy your tutorial too. Definitely describe _your_ technique with _your_ preferred tools, but as a Lightroom user I’d also be interested in your comments on to what degree it might be possible to approximate your CS4 local adjustment techniques with LR’s Local Adjustment tools, or not.

    Your willingness to describe your techniques is a real service to the community and much appreciated — thanks!

  9. Mitchell Says:

    Mark: You sure do want a lot:)
    David, Glen, Brock: Thanks for the encouragement. Brock: I’ll keep the Lightroom thing in mind.

  10. Jan Says:

    I also wouldn’t hesitate to buy a tutorial from you if you’d explain your techniques, as this is what I am longing to find out about. But I do not agree that you should make a Photoshop book out of it or write an in depth how to Photoshop tutorial for beginners. There are enough books out there that explain Photoshop for beginners and people who want to learn about the basics. Yours would be just one in many.
    If I understood you right, that wasn’t your intention anyway. What I would be happy about would be if you showed us your post-processing techniques and why you apply them. Lightroom 2 might be a good idea for some people, but I would prefer you show us your techniques rather than giving us an explanation how programs you don’t use that much work (although there is nothing against mentioning where you can use Lightroom). I am truly glad you are thinking about doing the tutorial, as I am planning to move to Asia at the end of this year and will travel in Burma and other countries quite extensively. I want to be prepared for this as best I can.

  11. David Says:

    I´ll be in for the tutorials, and I would love to know a bit more about the workshops…what sort of dates are we talking about? And how many days are you planning on doing it? Thanks for your replies on 1x…

    Keep up the excellent work!!

  12. Mitchell Says:

    Jan: You are right to think that I am not planning on making a tutorial for beginners, though I am not saying that beginners will not be able to use it. It should be fairly simple, but the intention is not to make THE post-processing tutorial that will cover every software package or technique ever invented for every level of photographers.

    It would be A tutorial on PP, the way I do it, the way I approach it and an explanation on why I do things the way I do. Overall it’s about the bigger picture.

    Colour is part of the visual language that is photography, but few people seem to realise that and so they go applying effects and various tones to images without ever asking; Why? or – What will my image say if I add this effect?

    People probably think that something looks cool and for them that’s enough of a reason. If an effect is applied well it can indeed look “cool”, but there are no guarantees that it’ll not be cheese tomorrow.

    I don’t particularly care if most people produce rubbish images with cheesy effects, they make serious work stand out more. However, the last thing I want to do is contribute to that virtual pile of trash (at least not knowingly:)). If I make a document that is meant to teach people, I feel it’s fair to also provide some background info, so that the effects are applied with at least some understanding.

    David: At this stage there are no set dates. I think the ideal thing would be to have only one or two private workshops or workshops for a couple of people max. I would probably never be do the same route more than once (as far as villages are concerned). So, the whole thing would be very “tailor-made” including the dates of the workshop. The duration will be 17 days with a possibility of extending it slightly, but no more than 21 days.

  13. Gomez Says:

    Mitch you know id definitely be interested in your tutorial, i agree with Brook with seeing how the settings might apply to Lightroom as well.

  14. Joe Says:

    Coming to think of it, I think the reason why I’ve refused to spend time with photoshop is that I am yet to be convinced that I need to edit photos, beyond the basic exposure adjustments. Tried localized lightening/darkening in LR2 but the tools are not very ‘maneuverable’.

    So, I’m looking forward to a tutorial explain WHY we need to make the adjustments you do, and await to be convinced =]

    Thanks, Mitchell!

  15. Stefan Says:

    I might buy it. I love most of your stuff. But you may also consider giving it away for free. If it’s good I’m sure it will pay off later on in one form or another.

    Cheers, Stefan.

  16. prashant khapane Says:

    hi Mitschell,
    I will say $10 is very less for a detailed tutorial. There are ‘processor specific’ e-books from the heavyweights for tools like ACR, LR, C1 and so on. I will also take time to think if the whole exercise is worth it.

    What I might suggest instead is – ‘mitschell way of processing’ tutorials and asking for 5-10$…may be a tutorial which is 3-5 page long. what say?

  17. Bernard Says:

    I would surely buy your tutorial. Always very impressed by your photos, which are among the best I have seen of India, a country I love and have viited many times…

    I too would like you to look up Lightroom some more 😉 But a tutorial on your workflow in C1 and PS, with some case studies, would be fine as well.

    Thanks! I always visit your blog with interest.

  18. Sid Says:

    I love your photos, so I would definitely be up for purchasing your tutorial.
    Go for it.

    Waiting in anticipation, Sid

  19. pixelatedimage Says:

    Mitch – Hey mate, I’m in. Your vision and craft is strong enough that a few bucks to sit at your feet is more than worth it. When you get things rolling drop me a line and I’ll push my readers to it – you’re stuff if great and they’d be thrilled to get their hands on it.

    -david duChemin

  20. Andra Zinda Says:

    Nice blog here! Also your site quite a bit up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

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