Enhancing or changing photographs on the computer – opinions

As relatively speaking I am pretty new to the whole photography game and as such never really played with my photos but rather tried to get the best shot I could on the camera itself. I would then sometimes sharpen the image slightly (if necessary) and occasionally reduce the noise if I had used a fairly high ISO due to light conditions.

I am fairly undecided on the “touching up” or removing unwanted items from a photograph and would certainly like to hear what the average photographers opinions are in this regard. My guess is that it would be fairly equal with some people for it and just as many against.

This pic was seriously under exposed.

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I then for the first time played with the exposure in photoshop express on my ipad. This is the result. So back to the original question, is the general consensus that this is okay or not? I am just curious!!!

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7 thoughts on “Enhancing or changing photographs on the computer – opinions

  1. It has its advantages I suppose. Sometimes when we look back at photos on the big screen we see more and editing helps to iron out certain issues…like the underexposed photo in your article. I only do slight touch ups with mine. I think we sometimes lose the essence of the shot of we ‘re-work it too much. But we can also getsome amazing results too. I think it’s down to personal taste and what they want out of the photo. It’s certainly helped me out a few times. Good article. One love.

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    • Thanks Damo, I appreciate your comment. I guess photography is art and since the digital age we can do so much more than in the days of print. I suppose then one could say that in the old days of film, a good photographer was really very good. These days you can shoot as many pics as you feel like, eliminate the not so good ones and then still touch up etc..

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  2. since photography began photographers have been developing their photos in the darkroom. today we call it lightroom. even with the latest in technological advances in cameras they are not able to capture the same spectrum of light that our eyes capture. so what do we do – we expose for the light as best possible and then make for want of a better word an artistic decision as to how we would like to develop the photo we took. no good no bad we just have different tools available to us to express our artistic vision. play with the possibilities available to you and develop your photos according to you own taste and style – photographers have been doing it for over a hundred years.

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    • Well put Ian, I knew you would respond. I have obviously seen first hand what you do and that pic in the crit session was awesome. It’s so interesting to see and hear the various points of view. I guess being completely neutral on this is really nice from my perspective as I am still in the process of learning and trying to figure the best way forward for me. For me it’s interesting when I show someone (perhaps my wife or a friend or a colleague) an awesome shot from whoever I might follow like on say instagram and often the first question these non photographers ask is, how much has it been doctored? I know that national geographics your shot has pretty strict rules about what you can or cannot do!! Not sure how strongly they enforce it though.

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      • I recently read a nation geographic article where all the pictures had been shot with a camera phone and developed using hipstamatic filters. I guess that answers your question.

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  3. Consider the following Wayne. If you take a photo on your camera and it is set to record a jpeg image. Your camera has taken the raw image and developed it according to the manufacturers settings and ideas ( no different to your developing it with lightroom ) just that you have chosen one of the manufacturers settings with or without your modification to those settings which most cameras allow, be it saturation , sharpness , white balance etc. Has the image therefore not already been ‘doctored’ in camera ?

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