The thing with editing

Photography has been around for many years, centuries even. Images date back to the first World War and have captured moments through history. But with the birth of social media are we ruining a beautiful art?

During my time at college I studied photography at A-level . So before anyone starts with the whole “you only use your smartphone” I do have experience. At the moment I don’t have a decent camera so I am using my iphone to take pictures. I am a loyal ‘Instagrammer’ and have always loved Photoshop, so the idea of editing isn’t as bad.

I don’t mean photoshopping and editing to the point magazines create an unrealistic image of society and what they deem as perfection. Sometimes I capture a moment and it just needs brightening or highlighting a certain part of the image. Is that a bad thing, some may argue in order to take a good picture you shouldn’t have to edit at all. I remember when I was at college and we had to use the dark room, I couldn’t really edit with advanced settings. The image quality was still there, and I do miss that. Although, with the “digital age” taking pictures and being able to improve the images on my phone does seem easier.

For example I took this image of these apartments when I was walking home. Now it’s not the most appealing picture, but when I edited it looked so much better. A few filters and apps helped improve the quality.

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But after reading numerous online discussions about how using a filter is a terrible idea, I was inspired to write this post. But to make it more interesting I asked those in the industry to contribute.

First off Anthony McNally who is a New York photographer shares his opinion.


“Photo-Editing is fun. Sometimes its necessary and sometimes its just a means to make the photos look cooler. Artistically its a great way to explore the pictures more. I don’t think editing damages pictures in general. I think that it can damage a picture if the person editing doesn’t respect the original or pay attention to detail.”

You can view Anthony’s work here

Ferris Caughers is a street photographer based in Ireland, he does not use Instagram: “I do very little editing on my photos I do a lot of black and white for my street photography now and again I would add a little tilt shift Of people taking photographs. I think that you should stay true to what the camera sees. A bit Of editing is OK but I disagree with the whole model photo shoots and there heavy editing. What we are seeing in the majority of the mags isn’t truthful.”

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Keisha Howard from Sugar Gamers explains the two should not be confused:
My opinion on photo editing is that it photo editing is that its a separate beast, a separate art form all together and shouldn’t be dismissed because it lacks the traditional disciplines of photography. I’ve seen beautiful photos from graphic artists that seem to have taken so much time and creativity. There are so many photographers that invest time, patience and money into the craft. Understanding lighting, timing, etc, taking hundreds of photos to get that perfect one to see someone using photo editing to seemingly”cheat” their way to the same if not enhanced results. Photo editing isn’t damaging the art- it should be simply looked at as a additional separate art form.”
So what do you think, is photo editing a bad idea, are we ruining a perfectly good art?
Everyone has an opinion and I would like to hear yours.

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