Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hard Editing on Wedding Images

Lately I have been shown a lot of images taken by photographers from all over the world by a few of my students. I was asked about why are these images "overly edited"? Today, a camera manufacturer would launch at least 3 to 9 newdigital camera models (compact, prosumer & DSLR) that comes with added features so that a non-professional able to capture great images.

But when it comes to wedding photography, why "overly edited"? Some clients would say "this is their style of photography", some would say "it creates the mood" and some would say "its just to make the photo looks better".

So which do you prefer? Hard editing or less editing? "Hard editing" images are usually images taken with color but converted to black & white or the color changed to "sepia" mode. Some would look like the poster from "Lord of the Rings". Some will look old and grainy but today, I saw a few images taken by a self-proclaimed professional who have taken wedding photos that were "overly edited". A red color dress became "neon" red colored dress and pink color dress became "neon" colored pink dress. It gives me the creeps as I wonder how can you print these types of photo?

I came from an old school of thought. We use color films like Kodak, Mitsubishi, Agfa or Fujifilm and when I was attached my university newspaper department in the United States, I used Ilford B&W films. We are trained to developed the photo ourselves in the darkroom and during that time, there is no such thing as Photoshop CS3 or CS4, no even Adobe Lightroom to manipulate the images. Today, everything is done with just a "click"! It shows the convenience and many professionals today do not know the basic about photography and has shifted their daily activities into technology-based images whereby "images are cropped" or even "images are manipulated". It defeats the purpose of the "true" photography skills.

What is photography, really? According to, Photography is the art of producing images of objects by the agency of lights. Such images may be made on many different materials by direct contact of the object to be imaged with a sensitive surface; or the image may be projected on the sensitive surface, by the aid of a lens. Of course it touches on the topic about composition, lighting and many other areas to create a great image without computer manipulation.

So, what is the meaning of "digital photography" today? According to, once a photograph is in digital format, you can apply a wide variety of special effects to it with image enhancing software. Isn't that simple? Any Tom, Dick & Harry can do that...

There is a new term used by photographer who edits their images. They call it photo "montage". Still, it comes to the same meaning "overly edited" images.

So, what do you call a photographer who capture great images without the aid of computer manipulation? :- professional photographer.

What about a photographer who uses computer to manipulate the colors and making the images from ordinary to extraordinary? :- photo editor.

So, who are you engaging? Professional Photographer or Photo Editor?


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