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Just wondering when its right to edit/not edit?

 

When do people edit? Is it to draw out a particular effect? To improve an element of the image (exposure, clarity, reduce the shadows, increase the contrast in isolation)?

 

I only ask due to my inexperience with editing software. Its been partly due to my purist perspective of 'get it right on camera' as well as always being desperate to upload post-haste.

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I'm no expert either and whilst I agree with 'get it right in camera' there is always a tweak or two that will improve an image. If the image is well exposed to start with, I tend to use Lightroom lens correction, remove chromatic aberration, image straightening (if necessary) and adjustments to highlights and shadows. Maybe a small contrast adjustment or possibly a touch of clarity adjustment.

There are people who are masters of editing and who can really make fantastic images, but it takes a lot of practice and time and, on top of the time needed for key wording, I would argue that it's not really worth the effort for the relatively small rewards to be gained from stock photography.

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As Philippe alluded to, the camera does not get it right, despite your best efforts.

 

Photographers have had to post process images since the technology was invented. While you should strive to get the best possible result in camera, (I typically take several shots before being satisfied with the exposure) there are very few images that can't be improved (made more realistic and/or saleable) by further work. 

 

Shoot in raw, modify colour balance and exposure, if necessary, in conversion, then go to town using Photoshop. Lightroom is improving all the while but I still need PS to provide a finished product.

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Lightroom auto tone usually suits me. I also have a preset for CA, clarity and vibrance. I also put in a bit of luminance NR in case I forget later. Then whatever an image needs

Since a monitor recalibration helpfully suggested by the forum I often need a bit of shadow lift so I'll be putting that in the preset if I can figure out how.

I hardly ever use PS since getting LR.

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As others stated, if you take your images in RAW you will have to process it to become a jpg.

This is really an option, either you let the camera process it for you and you will have an imediate jpg that might look like what you have in mind or might not (as Phillipe stated above) or you do your own selection of the processing parameters, like color space, color temperature, contrast, brightness and so on.

Besides that, there are normal things you should do to any image, correcting the horizon angle, cleaning sensor spots, lens dirt, cropping the image to get rid of unwanted elements, reduce noise, etc.

After that you are in "creative" mode, where you could clone out elements, change colors, add elements, etc.

 

I prefer the RAW processing path, with the current tools you can do almost everything in the processing step, both the processing parameters, cleaning the image, cropping, fixing the horizon angle, etc.

I only open it in Photoshop if I want to do something more drastic to the image.

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I don't know if this is the case with the OP here but a lot of people fail to understand that the in-camera JPEG (as determined by the camera manufacturer) or, in the case of raw, the default image (as seen in Lightroom, ACR or whatever raw processor is being used) is just one interpretation of a vast number of possible interpretations of the image. Obviously different raw converters will have different default interpretations of the same image.

 

The only parameter that is "pure" is the maximum pixel dimensions of the image, absolutely everything else is open to interpretation and there is no right interpretation. There is no "pure" image for the "purist" in that sense. If the OP means editing in the sense of any change to either default jpeg or raw image, then this concept of purist is built on a false assumption.

Edited by MDM
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I don't know if this is the case with the OP here but a lot of people fail to understand that the in-camera JPEG (as determined by the camera manufacturer) or, in the case of raw, the default image (as seen in Lightroom, ACR or whatever raw processor is being used) is just one interpretation of a vast number of possible interpretations of the image. Obviously different raw converters will have different default interpretations of the same image.

 

The only parameter that is "pure" is the maximum pixel dimensions of the image, absolutely everything else is open to interpretation and there is no right interpretation. There is no "pure" image for the "purist" in that sense. If the OP means editing in the sense of any change to either default jpeg or raw image, then this concept of purist is built on a false assumption.

 

 

+1 MDM

 
I have two computers. The first one is a camera kit, and the second one fits on my desk.
 
I see no difference between them. I use the camera computer with my desk computer in mind. I shoot in such a fashion as to capture all of the information in a scene, and then later use the desk computer to select certain of that information to make a image that speaks to the viewer.
 
Nothing is “pure”, nothing is out of bounds, nothing is secret, nothing is cheating. It’s all photography.
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In my overall image preparation for submission photoshop tools are mostly included. In fact some of my images have been created only in PhotoShop and never shot in-camera ... call these rendered bit images or illustrations if you will ... they are all a part of my stock here. At times I will start with a substrate image shot in-camera and build upon it using photoshop tools. Also, I certainly won't buy a $10 grand telephoto lens merely for the 'look' of very shallow DOF in my images. I would rather shoot it at 36 MP and crop as much as I desire till I get to at least 17 Mb uncompressed, controlling DOF in PS. If in-camera crops (Nikon D800e & D7100 for example) are OK, I see no harm in PhotoShop-crops to individual tastes. Let the debate between 'hardware-created' or 'software-accomplished' continue as it does. In fact I may mention that some of my images comprise in part or wholly of scanned imagery - analogue to digital ... and this is what a DSLR does precisely. 

 

A.jpg B.jpg

Edited by Kumar
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I don't know if this is the case with the OP here but a lot of people fail to understand that the in-camera JPEG (as determined by the camera manufacturer) or, in the case of raw, the default image (as seen in Lightroom, ACR or whatever raw processor is being used) is just one interpretation of a vast number of possible interpretations of the image. Obviously different raw converters will have different default interpretations of the same image.

 

The only parameter that is "pure" is the maximum pixel dimensions of the image, absolutely everything else is open to interpretation and there is no right interpretation. There is no "pure" image for the "purist" in that sense. If the OP means editing in the sense of any change to either default jpeg or raw image, then this concept of purist is built on a false assumption.

 

 

+1 MDM

 
I have two computers. The first one is a camera kit, and the second one fits on my desk.
 
I see no difference between them. I use the camera computer with my desk computer in mind. I shoot in such a fashion as to capture all of the information in a scene, and then later use the desk computer to select certain of that information to make a image that speaks to the viewer.
 
Nothing is “pure”, nothing is out of bounds, nothing is secret, nothing is cheating. It’s all photography.

 

 

The voice of reason, as usual, from Mr Brooks and Mr. MDM.

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I don't know if this is the case with the OP here but a lot of people fail to understand that the in-camera JPEG (as determined by the camera manufacturer) or, in the case of raw, the default image (as seen in Lightroom, ACR or whatever raw processor is being used) is just one interpretation of a vast number of possible interpretations of the image. Obviously different raw converters will have different default interpretations of the same image.

 

The only parameter that is "pure" is the maximum pixel dimensions of the image, absolutely everything else is open to interpretation and there is no right interpretation. There is no "pure" image for the "purist" in that sense. If the OP means editing in the sense of any change to either default jpeg or raw image, then this concept of purist is built on a false assumption.

 

 

+1 MDM

 
I have two computers. The first one is a camera kit, and the second one fits on my desk.
 
I see no difference between them. I use the camera computer with my desk computer in mind. I shoot in such a fashion as to capture all of the information in a scene, and then later use the desk computer to select certain of that information to make a image that speaks to the viewer.
 
Nothing is “pure”, nothing is out of bounds, nothing is secret, nothing is cheating. It’s all photography.

 

 

The voice of reason, as usual, from Mr Brooks and Mr. MDM.

 

 

Thank you most kindly Chris. That has made my day and makes me feel it is worthwhile contributing to the forum.

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