‘Photoshopped’ photos seem to be a negative. In this digital society, we are not the first to edit our photos. The darkroom is where all the editing happened mainly in days gone by, but still by some professional photographers and schools.
We talk about editing photos as though it were a bad thing, yet some editing has to happen to every photo. Editing isn’t about making your photo look fake in comparison to the reality of the scene, but about enhancing and bringing out what you’ve captured. Sometimes what the eye sees and the camera captures don’t quite match up.
There’s a flow to my work. A sequence of steps that I take to get my photos looking their sharpest.
- Import – no matter which program you use for editing, you will need to import your photos. When I import, I have certain keywords and metadata already set up in my programs as a way to basically put my mark my photos (and make them discoverable on the internet*)
- Cull – sometimes in camera I am unable to really tell which photos are keepers and which just didn’t make the cut, so I bring most shots onto the computer and then decide which to get rid of and which to keep for editing
- Edit – or Develop – I switch between both Lightroom and Photoshop for my photo editing. There are a few things that I do to every photo.
- Lens Correction – most photos need this quick little edit to adjust any distortion
- Vibrance – some color is lost in camera when you shoot in raw, which is the way I shoot all of my photos, so I make adjustments there, always striving to keep the look as true as possible
- Exposure, Contrast, Blacks, and Whites are settings that I typically adjust as well, again, keeping the adjustments low so as not to change the look of the photo too much
- There is also some dodging and burning that I do, using the brush in either program just to help with the light and shadows
- Export – or Save – all depending on which program you use. I export to particular folders to keep everything organized on my computer.
One disclaimer here is that I do change the settings to where they aren’t perfectly natural in some of my still life photos. Sometimes I want less color than the normal saturation and sometimes a little more clarity.
Photography is art. We can make it what we want it to be, just like a watercolor artist who paints a scene and doesn’t paint it literally, but as their eye sees it.
*When I do a Google search for ‘sixteen miles out’ this is what I see …
Do you add tags to your photos? What do you find when you do a search for yourself?
I hope this was helpful to you … I’ll go more in-depth on some of my process in another post. See you again soon I hope!