Use Image Editing Software As A Last Resort… for a while at least.


Try to use photo editing software as rarely as possible until you have a clear understanding of the abilities and limitations of your camera.

Although there are always things you can do to improve or even save a shot in software it can lull you into a kind of laziness with the act of photographing itself.

The final result of this will be a stunting in your development as a photographer (although you will probably get pretty good with the software!) and ultimately you will hit the wall creatively.

You will find yourself unable to really “get” that shot you want because you haven’t progressed technically or creatively with the camera in the first instance.

12 thoughts on “Use Image Editing Software As A Last Resort… for a while at least.”

  1. Really, you got all these beautiful shots without photo-editing software? Wow, I envy your talent, patience and devotion. Have a lot to learn from you. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope to hear from you soon.

    1. Whoa there tiger! No I didn’t get those shots without using editing software but my point is that you should keep trying to make the shots themselves better and better before you get them into software.

  2. Good advice but also a reality that digital photography and editing whether in camera
    depending on mode or post have become in many ways synonymous – maybe there’s a
    paleo diet related to editing that leads to a well rounded well versed photographer, which
    would be a good thing rather than always counting on editing software.
    Best thing is to know your gear and how to get the most out of it.
    Photography now more than at any time in it’s past has become an “art form” – as such
    presets and the latest and greatest are and will remain innovative and to one degree or another
    essential elements.

  3. Perhaps there are some different perspectives on this. Your perspective suggests that the photographer should be restricted to the capabilities of the camera.

    Now days when people use the term “photoshopped” they generally mean that the image has been altered, but not just altered but altered from some “REALITY” as if the photographic image is a “Real Recording ” of some moment in time, which ends up to be that there is some “Reality.” What the camera sees is “Real” and the photographer records that reality artistically.

    Much of philosophy from 13th century through Kant has been a discussion of whether there is any such reality, and contemporary physics has cast serious doubt on this matter resulting in a whole area of small particles described in terms of probability. Of course few of us mistake a mountain for a donkey, and in courts of law photo images are generally considered proof of some Reality.

    However is there any reality out there.? much less does a photograph “capture this Reality as some Truth” I find to be a highly questionable position and quite at odds with the history and purpose of Art.

    What the photographer leaves out of the image is often important (context) and photographs, even the most tightly controlled studios shots, often have “unexpected accidental visual information.”

    I believe the photographic process is just another artistic technique, like drawing, silk screen, etching and the artist is free to do whatever they want to the image with the tools. The only standard of judgement is the final expression, the piece of final art.

    Traditional darkroom techniques altered the image, A. Adams used them and who is to say that altering the image to make it “feel ” more like the actual experience of being there than the original image in the camera, was ok and that altering the image was thus justified. Is it ok for a journalist photograph to dodge the face of the main character so the final print showed the expression on the face because it communicated the moment?

    My position does not find fault with your position, but your position would seek to place limits on the artistic expression of the photographer as if there is some “Reality” and the photograph must express this and when people use photoshop they may be altering that reality and to alter that reality is not acceptable.

    Art has many purposes but if photography is to be Art and not just recording things and making them pretty, then the tools of the artist may be, can be but should not be limited to the capabilities of the camera. It must be acceptable for the artist to use any techniques, including any mage editing software they may choose to realize their vision.

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