Photo Editing – What’s Your Opinion?

Posted on August 15, 2011


I know in the recent months I have had the debate over photo editing and how much editing is appropriate.  I am very sure there are many schools of thought in this arena, but among the people I have spoken to, they seem rather polarized – you either edit very little to maintain the “true intention” of the photo or you have free reign to do whatever you like with a photo.

In my own opinion, I like to look at my photography as an artistic piece.  An artist has their own creative license to take a piece and alter it in a way that they find visually pleasing – just as you would a painting or drawing.  When it comes to my photography, I am very “go big or go home.”  Generally, I edit my raw images in my EOS photo software, convert them to .jpgs, and then continue editing them in GIMP.  I am a huge fan of highly saturated, highly contrasted photos.  In most instances I feel that I am enhancing the image so that the true beauty can be discovered, while also creating visual interest.

A person arguing with me might say that I am doing a disservice to the photo by not conveying what I’m truly seeing or what the true form is by doing this sort of extreme editing.  My rebuttal is that unless you are being paid to take photos for a certain purpose (family portraits, weddings, etc), that art is simply that – art.  The beautiful thing about digital photography is that you can play around with an image in many different programs and forms until you find something that you enjoy.  Take some risks and enjoy the art of photography.  And remember, we took and still take artistic license in the darkroom as well!

So have some fun with it people and let your photographic hair down.  I would love to walk by more people’s desks at work or go into more homes and see framed photos that reflect a creative effort than all those simple point and shoot photos printed at your local store.

I understand that photography is not for everyone and that point and shoot photos may be your style, but if you want to play around at all – go for it!  GIMP is a free open source program that mimics Photoshop.  It can be complicated, but figuring it out can be part of the fun.  Also, sites like winkflash and snapfish will print your photos for pennies and often have wonderful deals.  I encourage everyone to print their photos “matte” to avoid fingerprints and glare.  So go for it.  Edit the hell out of those photos. Have fun. And then be proud of your work – because that’s important too.

%A L Kohlmann
***The photostream has new photos on the right, with more coming soon and always remember to visit my website.

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