I always get this question every time I do photography training. I find this question very interesting and intriguing at the same time. Every time this is raised, I try to understand where it’s coming from. Is it because you’ve been trying to create a particular image to no avail? Or are you trying to find the fine line between shooting and editing?
When I was starting out, most of the photos that inspired me are landscapes that look really engaging. Like in the movies, these are scenes you don’t normally experience in real life. They have the looks that would break your piggy bank and reconsider your bucket list. Although I’m one photographer who’s crazy about fashion and portraiture, landscape is another genre that never ceases to impress me.
I’ve been in and out of the airport lately, and I can’t help but stop and stare at the photos by George Tapan, promoting the different local tourist destinations. It clearly looks as if it were shot in JPEG format, had some minor color and contrast adjustments, and then off it went to the printer.
The images are just close to perfection. If I’m given those images for editing, I would be lost and wouldn’t know where to start and what to do.
When asked if I edit my photos, my answer is a big yes. But well-angled shots with perfect timing of the light is one thing that editing can never achieve. Editing will always be dependent on the base image. It will always be a complementary feature to enhance the photo, and fill in the gap produced by the smaller dynamic range of digital sensors.
Editing your own shots is a glorifying experience. First, you get a chance to look at your shots at a closer view, where all the details are more defined. Sometimes when you’re shooting, you tend to miss some things that matter. But when you’re editing, you have the opportunity to notice the missed details, and the chance to improve it next time.
When editing, try to make less intrusive adjustments and let the essence of the image come out. The less editing you see in your work, the better. With my decades of experience in editing, I still encounter images that I don’t know what to do with. Oftentimes, after a long pause and with just one small adjustment, the image starts to fall into place.
Keep on shooting, everyone!