Monday, September 20, 2010

Hey, Did you Photoshop That?

Ansel Adams, arguably one of the best B&W photographers of all time, would spend days in a dark room for a single image. His prints looked nothing like his negatives (no one questions that!)… After all, the print is what matters in the end.

I get asked all the time did you "photoshop" that image (photoshop is used in place of the word edit)? The answer is ALWAYS yes. The image that is captured in the camera is nothing but digital data. That data in its RAW form looks very VERY flat (I shoot RAW files and create jpegs later). The jpeg image that is produced by ALL digital cameras, whether on the camera’s LCD or the actual image, is adjusted by the camera based on what it thinks you might like. I touch all my photos because I want my vision to be seen. This was all done in the traditional darkroom by everyone for every image (the 1-hour or mail-in photo places were notorious for editing poorly)…. Now many people look down on photo editing and after looking at some photos out there I can certainly understand why. However, digital editing is truly necessary unless you are okay with what Mr. Nikon or Mr. Canon says is a good photo.

That is why this photographer always edits his digital images.  Please chime in and let me know what you think about editing your photos?  What do you think about photos that have been edited with super saturation and/or special effects.  Do they have their place?

Before Editing

After Editing



  1. You bet they have a place. Art is all about creativity, aesthetic communication, and symbolism. I am a humanities guy, sentenced to broad categories of human interest. I welcome any new expression of the visual arts by those who have the talent to restrict their focus.

  2. Could not have said it better myself. Honestly, I don't like that style.... But, it doesn't mean it is wrong or that it is inappropriate. Thanks JJ!

  3. Thank you for the example. I had little knowledge of the differences that can be made when actually editing digital photos.

    Most of my reference and family photos do not get edited. However, I am beginning to edit photos of my art work, using iPhoto tools.

    Great post ;)