Photography Friday: How Much Touching Up?

How much you edit your photos is dependent on several factors.

Are you printing them?

Are they going to be viewed on a computer screen?

Are they going to be printed in a magazine?

A newspaper?

What are your personal tastes in photography?

The list is endless, and depending on the list – your editing needs will vary.

I've received comments from people saying, "Oh, you use Photoshop," in a disappointed tone of voice.


Professional photographers are ALL editing their photos.

Today, I wanted to show you a quick example of some editing I recently did on a photo.

Here's the original, very beautiful, sunset shot:

The above photo has only had slight modifications.  I sized it for the web and converted the color profile to a web-friendly format for you.  Also, I watermarked it.  In other words, I've done nothing to the color or "look" of the photo whatsoever.  (Sizing it and putting it into a web-friendly color format are standard for every photo I put on the web and neither changes the "look" of the photo.)

When I was done editing the photo it looked like this:


The changes I made were minor, and depending on your monitor – you  may not even notice a difference.

Here they are side by side with the unedited photo on the left:

The photo on the right has had the color increased in depth a very slight (ten percent) amount.  The edges of the photo were very slightly "burned" to draw the eye in.

That's it.

(It's probably easier to see such subtle differences in the larger photos than in the side to side comparison.)

Do I ever get in the mood to "play" more with certain photos?

Sometimes I do.

Overall, I'm generally a "light" photo editor though.

It's a matter of personal preference.

I consider photography a form of art.

Whoever takes the photo has the "right" to do whatever they want/like to it.

For instance, I'm not a huge fan of HDR photography but I can still tip my hat to those who do it well.  (By the way, the vast majority of people DON'T do it well.  Just my opinion …!)

So what kind of editing do you do to your photos?

© Twenty Four At Heart

5 Responses to “Photography Friday: How Much Touching Up?”

  1. WebSavvyMom

    –>I do CTRL+SHIFT+L to almost every photo in Photoshop. It’s a quick shortcut to get the light right in photos. Otherwise, I don’t like to modify pictures too much and if I do, I save it as a copy so I have the original. It’s a good thing I’m married to an IT guy who gives me lots of computer storage where it’s all backed up.

  2. Jan

    I don’t edit my photos much either, beyond cropping and watermarking – which is probably why Tastespotting turns so many of them down. LOL
    I also agree – the majority of people do not do HDR well. However, I’ve become captivated by the entire concept, although food photography doesn’t lend itself well to the process. I’ve got a few still life/landscape shots I’m trying it out on, though. I may publish them eventually; we’ll see. At this point it’s all a learning process.

  3. Judi

    I agree that photography is art, but my personal preference is for light editing as well. I want to capture a moment in time, a reminder of a place or event that can be artful but still realistic. I’m not a fan of filters and textures and over-manipulation added after the fact. Your photos are always stunning, in large part because of their composition, which is one of your great talents.

  4. Kelsey

    Thanks for sharing this…it was really interesting to see the photos side by side and I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference without you pointing it out! I used to hate taking photos, but now I use Instagram, which basically lets me edit my photos in all sorts of ways very easily. Now I love the photos I take, and I am sure they would be considered very edited 🙂 I think it someone likes the photo the way it turns out (even with editing) who cares — editing allows photography to be an even more interesting art form.


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