Is it Important to Edit your Photographs?

Most people will agree that that it is all about the actual shot, and that a small portion of the result should be accredited to the editing and adding the final touches. Be aware that editing can change the meaning of the image. So be cautious and understand what you actually want from the shot before you head off to the computer.

I would definitely agree that editing plays an import role in “cleaning the image” to the point of personal perfection, or that of the requirements to meet the brief of the client. There is such a large choice of editing software available to everyone with a camera or such device, that the everyday person is able to easily manipulate the look and feel of the original image in a few basic steps. Take note that the developers of most open source and free editing software have designed simple software that is user friendly to all. In this same vein, their intention is to get you addicted to their “magical features” and influence your personal taste and abilities to take great images from the start. These programs have converted creative potential into “programmed zombies”. The mind has been dulled by this trend following and so has the persons energy to explore their true creative talents. In conclusion, everything is the same.

How Important is Editing your Pictures?

In my opinion, it is important to ensure that your photography brief is met, and the best way to accomplish this is to know how to take a good shot from the start. This would mean understanding how your camera works, as well as understanding lighting, either natural or in a controlled. My reasoning is due to the fact that the more you edit your image, or make use of plugins and filters, the more you are destroying the actual quality of the image. What is actually happening as you edit is you are changing the form of the pixels in one way or another. I like to refer to photographs that have received a lot of editing as an art form rather than “a true photograph”. There is obviously a place for editing to ensure that the image matter is free from unexpected or unwanted blemishes, the same as it is important to ensure that the color balance is correct.

When is Enough Enough?

What helps one to make up their mind as to the degree of editing involved would be as I said earlier, understanding the message intended from the photograph, and, secondly, to make sure you interpret the clients brief correctly. Often the client will have a brand or brief that will require a great degree of editing that one cannot achieve from setting up the shot in the beginning, an example would be a sense of fantasy, or animation that might be required in the mood of the final execution. As a professional or an avid hobbyist photographer, the choice is really up to you, just make sure your editing skills are defined and live up to the expectations of the job. Poor editing can leave a really nasty finish and may even detract from the intention of the photograph. The idea is not to scar away the client of your audience.

Which Editing Software is best for You?

As I initially mentioned, there are many free software and other open source programs available, but as the saying has always proved itself, “nothing is for nothing”, and unfortunately this is often the result of the quality of the software, yes it may do everything you want, but the quality is poor. This is a common occurrence found in some licensed editing software that you pay to use as well, so do your research and ask like minded photographers their preferences and of course why they have made those choices. We all have a way of editing, so it is important that you are comfortable in your navigation process as you edit your image. Find a software program that is logical to the way you think as this will make your job that much easier and faster in the overall process. My suggestion to someone starting off with editing their photographs is to enroll and attend a short workshop on editing using the program that you believe is the perfect one for your genre and needs.