This is a topic that I have discussed several times in past blogs. I think the reason I talk about it so often is because I used to be one of those "photographic purists". A Photographic Purist is an individual who believes that the image taken in camera should be unaltered. Back in the film days this was easy to do simply because you sent your photos off to get processed and sent back. What you got back you assumed was what the camera recorded. I quickly learned that each type of film had their own level of color saturation. Fuji Velvia for example had the most amazing greens. Later I discovered that each lab had their own unique way of developing the negative or slide. What about home darkrooms.... You developed the images while paying close attention contrast and exposure. Ultimately it was your take on the image that was the final product. In truth, "Photographic Purists" can't really exists.
In the digital age we have the ability to manipulate photographs down to the pixel.
After I download my photos to the computer I then enter the "editing" stage of my workflow. The term edit indicates that something just isn't right and requires "fixing". I have a new way of looking at this stage of workflow. I now call it the "Finishing" stage. The term finishing indicates that it is just a part of taking the photo. This portion really is dependent on the photographer and his/her clients. The type of "finishing" that I do works for some and for others it is just not their cup of tea. There are several photographers some consider great that I just can't stand. Why? I feel they are over processed. However, those particular photographers may feel just the opposite about mine. They might say "man that guy could benefit from additional processing".
So, the moral of the story.... No matter what type of "photo finishing" you do there will be someone out there that finds it interesting.
Take a look at these two photos. The first one is the photo after I did the final finishes. The second is where I started. You decide for yourself which is better. Leave a comment and let me know where you stand on this.