in my humble opinion, i've never come across a picture that didn't benefit from just a little tweaking. now, don't get me wrong, its easy to go too far. sometimes you just need to bump up the contrast for a little more oomph. not every photo benefits from tons of processing.
but sometimes it is fun to mess around.
there's a photography "movement" (not really sure a movement is the right thing to call it, but it'll do) called "through the viewfinder" or TTV photography. its premise is that you use an SLR camera (generally digital, but not necessarily) and take a picture of an image as viewed through the viewfinder of a large format camera.
if i had a large format camera, i would show you the set up so that maybe it would make more sense. but here's an old photo from 2004, when the old photography bf had a large format camera and you can kind of get the idea. with TTV photos, however, you generally end up with just the picture of the entire viewfinder, while the rest is cropped out.
i don't have a large format camera, nor do i particularly want one. though they do make impressive display pieces, they are a pain in the ass to dust. and costly to boot. personally, i'd rather have a lens.
so i cheated. i found a set of images on flickr here where someone had taken pictures of a large format viewfinder with nothing in the image, just a blank viewfinder. so i made it into a brush for photoshop and voila! TTV pictures. I messed around with a few shots i already had sitting around on my computer just to see what the effect would be, and i have to say i kind of like it. i could see myself using this in the future.
its funny how things don't always turn out how you expected. i thought the above image would work well with the ttv treatment, but its just ok (in my opinion at least)
i used the same ttv brush for all of these, but the flickr set contained several images that could be used to make more brushes. i just haven't gotten around to it yet.
i just thought i would share the sort of thing i like to do when i should be doing something more productive. makes me want to get out there and take some more pictures so i can bulk up my library of images to mess around with though. maybe it will be the encouragement i need...