Saturday, October 20, 2012

Edit or not?

I get asked very often, "you edit your photos!?"

Abuden?  You believe your favorite CDs were recorded straight to disk, no masters, no mixing and editing? Your bowl of noodles were just boiled with water and flour? And you think your favorite politicians must be talking straight from their mouths without going through their brains!  Oh... that last one may be true ;-/

Trees in the sky

Yes I edit my photos, almost everyone of them, from minor cropping and contrast, white balance adjustments to 'major makeover', e.g. adding filters, touching up the images, etc.


There's no such thing as "presenting the photos as they are"; I choose to retain control of processing my photos, rather than turn processing over to someone else - a lab (for films) or the camera's built-in software.  

Balloon Fiesta 2012 

The films' characteristics, the chemicals used and even the printer's capabilities produce different print qualities.  Same goes to the software, lenses and mechanical differences in digital cameras.  The 'untouched' pictures will only reflect the camera's characters, rather than the photographer's creativity to tell the story he wants to tell.  


Options to make the photos in the darkroom (develop the films, scan the films, print the photos on the enlarger) or on the computer (edit the photos with software) make photos look better, and you are
definitely missing 50% of fun in photography if you are a 'straight shooter'!


With editing, the limitations of a camera can be pushed even further; the creativity of the photographer is not capped by the technologies, no matter how advanced or simple the equipment used, but rather benefited from them. 

shooting spree 

For this reason, I love seeing someone enjoying a simple plastic camera as much as a Leica :)

p/s.  How do the pros make awesome photos with simple cameras, with some editing thrown in? Check this out - 


YTSL said...

Hi Horsoon --

Different strokes for different folks. Unlike you, I leave all my photos unedited because, well, I just feel like they represent my memories and views better. Yes, this can mean less than optimal photos on hazy hiking days, etc. -- but then, it helps me remember what the atmospheric and weather conditions were like the day I took the photos. :)

Horsoon said...

Yvonne: yes the 'raw' pictures probably have better 'connections' with the photographer :)

Horsoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Haha..I like your "abuden" expression! :)

There's nothing wrong with editing. I don't know why people equate editing to like "cheating" when it comes to photography. Digital editing of images is equivalent to editing in the darkroom (for shooting with film). Editing does not mean a lack of integrity in one's final image.

Having said that, I am not into adding or removing stuff that were not in the images in the first place. I am okay with minimizing or removing blemishes, wrinkles in portraits.

Ai Shiang said...

I have to agree with you 100%, Horsoon. I, somehow don't believe in being a "purist". By looking at the lightings, most of the time the pictures need to be edited to have better tones.

thomas said...

i edit my photos most of the time.

Horsoon said...

I had lots of 'offline' comments from my friends with mixed views on this subject.

One of the most asked questioned: 'Why bother spending thousands of $$ in a camera while the pictures it shoots still need editing?". IMHO, there're no 'perfect' pictures; there are thousands of other ways to look at a photo with another 10 thousand ways to interpret and appreciate the image it captured. I edit to enhance (sometimes even exaggerate) the way I see it.

And, photography is only half the fun if I don't get to 'play' with it :)

YTSL said...

I think maybe what it boils down to is that there are people who are interested in photography for photography's sake whereas people like me are most interested in taking photos to capture visuals that will help with our memories. The former want to enhance the images they have while the latter feels that the "raw" effects help keep the memories.

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