photos, post processing and actions: less is more?

i was taking photos of a project when the dogs distracted me. how could you not want to photograph this face? i've learned, if you ever want a photo of scottie, just open up the blinds so he can look outside. just hope nothing walks by... otherwise he'll start barking his pretty little face off.

i wanted to talk some about post-processing images and actions. i have very mixed feelings about this... on one hand, i think they can be useful. on the other, i think they can get ridiculous and way over done. and (don't shoot me) i think they are way over-used in the photography world.

the example above is my photo, straight out of the camera. i take photos in raw so that i can adjust the white balance and fill light as much as possible.

this next photo is after i've 'processed' it. basically, i took some of the yellow out of the image and adjusted the exposure. while i really liked the colors in the raw image, i wanted to adjust it so that the colors looked normal. the whites look white, and the wall is much closer to its actual color.

and this one is an action i run on it. specifically coffeeshop buttercream from the coffeshop blog. it's a beautiful action, and would work well in any number of applications.

this is a cross process action, which i can't take credit for either. it was already loaded on my computer, and i believe miss brandi is responsible for it. this is probably the one i've used the most just because i love the colorful/retro effect.

what are your thoughts? on actions or post-processing?
i certainly believe in editing a selection of my photos before posting or printing them... rarely do i take a photo that i believe is perfect straight out of the camera. but - what about actions? i think there is a place for them, but i don't use them on every photo. and i would certainly rather spend my time learning how to take better photos than learning how to fix them. But, they are so much fun to play with and i can definitely see using them to make some artwork for our home!

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