Photo Editing, Yes or No?

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“NO!!! CANNOT! This is cheating!!!” a local photographer shouted at me, as if I conducted a serious crime. He continued, “You MUST NOT use computer to change anything in your photo! Not even a bit! You also need to know that most photo contest does NOT allow entry that is altered digitally.”

In the old day, when film camera was the only option, it would be a tragedy if you found that your photos were overexposed, underexposed, blur, contains unwanted elements (e.g. garbage at background). Thanks to the digital camera technology and Adobe Photoshop (an image editor). Now it is very easy to fix a bad picture. You can even enhance the photos by adding some special effects that could only achieve with thousand-dollar lens and filters in the past.

Photo Editing

I talked to a few photographers. I think they have very mixed opinions about the photo editing. Some very open about it, while another group strongly against such practice. Nowadays, most new camera comes with software, which got dozens of functions that can fix, touch-up and enhance your photos.

In fact, such functions also available in the photo printing machine. Before printing, you can tell the shop what you want, for example, make photo brighter, remove red eye, increase the red color… It is like a “mini” Photoshop already, so I can’t see why the opposers think that digital editing is evil.

Underexposed Photo fixed by Photoshop:
Photo Editing

Blur Photo fixed by Photoshop:
Photo Editing

That reminds me that many years ago, many web designers were using Notepad to create web page (HTML). We were so proud of our HTML programming skill. When the first web page editor appeared, we were kind of dislike it and still prefer “hand-coding.” Today if you still use Notepad to design web page, many will think that you are inefficient.

What I am trying to say is — photography should be something easy to enjoy. If there is any tool that can produce nice photo, just use it, instead of worrying too much about the “technical know-how”. After all, most users only can afford cheap “family-use” camera.

Photo Editing

However, the only digital editing that I personally cannot accept is to add / remove something from the photo. Just imagine a reporter does this to a photo for a news. Most women are envy about the smooth and perfect skin of the model on the magazine. Tell you lah, 100% of the cover girl photos have been edited heavily to make it looks perfect.

Photo Editing

5 thoughts on “Photo Editing, Yes or No?

  1. wow, did not know photoshop got the option to sharpen the image. i look at it this way, its a tool to make the casual photographer compensate for their lack of skill, also its a drive for pro photographers to be even better.

  2. Hard to say…. Im still using SLR and never scan it to the computer.. except 2-3 of them i just change it to black and white….

    well, if digicam… for sure i edit it. *If my fren think he/she looks ugly on pics*
    For your info, even a pro photographer such as photojournalist such as Reuters, CNN they have their own Photo Editor…

    they edit the unaspected original image.. if you got watch Shooting Under Fire 2 weeks ago in Natinal Geography.

  3. Totally agree with you …. I always remove pimples/acne and sometimes eye bags … to make girls looks better, even I didnt do it, make-artist will cover them up also ( I no money hire Pro-Model and Makeup-Artist ler).

    But for still life and landscape, I will just edit the contrast or color to match what I see …

    I think… Photoshop can save ‘bad pictures’, but too rely too much on Photoshop will degrade the photographer’s skill… :” Nevermind lah, photoshop can save?” “Nevermind, can edit later…..” Which is not really good …..

  4. Camera is a technology product anyway, if people are so against technology, ask them to use painting to draw pictures instead like da vinci.

  5. can i have ur email mr. Smoke head…? i want to ask a few question regarding photoshop. i’m still in the process of learning how to use and i hope mr. Smoke head can help me… thank you. 😉

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