Whether you are a photographer or not, it is most likely you have edited a picture at least once in your life. However, there are many myths surrounding photo-editing (or post-processing), that may lead you to have a misconception about it. For this reason, we have gathered some interesting facts that are a must-know for any person who likes to edit pictures.
A lot of the people that are against editing images say that editing an image makes it fake. They believe that an image should be printed, posted or simply kept just as it was straight out of the camera. However, photo editing helps photographers to expand themselves as artists! It also allows some room for mistakes while taking the picture. For example, if it is a bit crooked and you meant for it to be straight but did not have a tripod, you can fix it post-processing. Whether they prefer to make small or big changes is up to the photographer, as well as if they prefer to make no changes at all. But remember to not make a choice based on the belief that post-processing is fake!
Despite post-processing allowing more room for mistakes, it does not fix everything. Some things have to be done right while taking the picture. For example, if the image is blurry, no amount of editing will be able to fix that. This means that although photo editing helps with creativity, it is not everything. We may have advanced greatly, but a lot of the effort has to be put when taking the picture as well! This also goes for composing the picture as well, which includes knowing about the rule of thirds, color use, etc. Although cropping may help if you want the image a little smaller or there was a person in the corner, it is much more recommended to move while taking the picture. If you want a portrait, taking it as a portrait will improve the image much more than taking a full body shot and cropping it into a portrait.
When it comes to post-processing images, RAW is definitely the way to go. This does not mean there is anything wrong with JPEG. It simply means that when you shoot in RAW, the image is saved with more data and a simpler look, and therefore, more room to edit it. If you do not plan on editing your pictures, JPEG is probably a better option, given that in this format the camera will post-process the image for you.
The camera will edit contrast, color, etc., on its own, which will make your pictures look better coming straight out of the camera than if you shot in raw and did not post-process them. However, it is not recommended to edit images in JPEG for this same reason, as they have already been edited by the camera. Long story in short, if you do post-process go for RAW, if you don’t then go for JPEG.
As we mentioned before, editing an image helps the photographer release its creativity even more. Taking a picture is sometimes not enough to give it a certain “mood”. This can be achieved during post-processing, by giving the picture a certain tone and adding your own flair to it, which will help people that see the picture to understand what you were trying to convey with it.
If you were to put several photographers to edit the same picture, they would most likely end up with very different results. Many photographers are known for their “style”, much of which is accomplished during post-processing. It is important to note that a lot of their style is also done during the photoshoot, meaning that the taking of the picture goes hand in hand with the post-processing to create their style.
The belief that using a preset is equal to copying another photographer’s style is wrong. Presets are a series of settings that you can paste on another photograph. They are a way to edit photographs at a faster pace. However, this does not mean that you should download a preset to edit just like the photographer you admire. In the beginning, this might be acceptable as you look for your own style, which presets can help with when you’re not sure what mood you want to give a photo. But you should always try to find your own style. Once you have found it, you can make some presets yourself! This will allow you to work faster and more efficiently, without removing the creativity from your photos.
Photography is an art, and in a way, you could say that the RAW image is the blank canvas and the photo editing is the paint. You use both to create the result that you want. But remember that, although photo editing can help you get there, you also have to put in the effort when taking the picture. Your style does not come only from the editing, but also from the capturing. Above all, have fun and experiment with the editing as much as you like!
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