Do good photographers take some bad photos? Anyone who has taken photos knows all to often that what you end up with is often not what you thought you had captured. When the eyes see something of interest it is aften not possible to isolate it from its background which many times can spoil the look of what you have captured.
Learning the tools available in post processing can often save a photo that otherwise you might not think is worth saving. With digital potography, we can take endless shots in hopes that we can get one that needs the least amount of post processing. To some photographers, post processing is a natural extension of illustrating their work. Everything could use a bit more saturation or sharpening or other enhancements. In the case of the photo above, I was going to discard this photo. The subject was a large replica of a prehistoric animal in the feline family at our Natural History Museum. Not really all that interesting and the background detracts from the subject.
With a bit of color enhancement, careful not to over saturate, sharpening and blurring out the entire background helps make this subject far more interesting and dynamic. Removing the subject from the background alltogether might also be interesting if you have a suitable background to replace it. In the case of the finished post processed image below, I was quite happy with the colorful shading of the blur effect which added a bit more interest and highlighted the subject.
The software that I use is Aperture for the Mac but Photoshop is also a more superb post processing program that takes a bit longer to learn. And of course there is the almost free ( Upgraded Version) easy to use software called Picnik.com.