Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Edited Photos vs Unedited Photos

There are four main groups of people when it comes to photography
(vastly generalised by the way by me!)

1) People who take/appreciate photos but don't know/care too much about the process
2) Photographers who grab the photo straight from the camera as the end result
3) Photographers who edit their photos
4) Photographers who edit their photos lots

Okay a quick background on my thoughts, I use to be a purist for everything!
People who made art on the computer didn't really class as artists to me. I was introduced to photoshop in Uni did a 360 and since then I've seen it as a tool to improve your creativity. I also appreciate those who can make something beautiful just by using it! I now use photoshop to clean up my art and I feel the end result is a step up from the original, a bit of collagen to the lips so to speak.

Okay getting back to photography. So ever since I started to get obsessed with taking photos, probably in 2005 when I went to Japan, I've edited my photos in photoshop

I use to and still do play around with the following main adjustments in photoshop:
Brightness and Contrast
Colour Balance
Selective Colour

It's taken me years to grasp many elements of photoshop and I felt that my post production photos were a result of me taking a fairly good picture and then having the skills to bring out the best of the photo, the whole process a sort of labour of love

ben edited
This is what I do to about 90% of my photos, looking at it now I feel I'm crazy, but I can see the difference and plus inside of me is some weird obsessive compulsiveness to make things better :P (Click if you want to see it bigger)

Anyway fast forward to just recently and I'm hearing a lot about actions...actions? Huh? What?
Now actions are basically a list of commands that are set in place so when you hit a button, photoshop applies them your photo. Suddenly I realised that all this time I put into each photo could simply be done with a hit of a button. I think I got a little peeved, I started looking at all these amazing photos and wondered if they just hit a button too?

I've mellowed though, heck I even use actions now too :) They save time and can give your photos some really nice qualities! Just google “photoshop actions” and you'll spend hours finding some great ones!

trees edited
This photo was taken with my digital slr and looked a bit boring so I went to town on it...actioned to the max!

hotel edited
Since using film (which consist of around 80% of the photos you see on my blog), I don't feel the need to do too many crazy edits because film is already rad! I usually lighten it a bit or make it a tad less blue, or remove some of the dust that settled upon the film, during the scanning process but I love the effect of film that I don't alter it too much.  I also don't mind people adding a film effect onto their digital photos, like instagram, I think it's cool, but I'm not cool enough to have an iphone yet :P

Okay so how I see it is... *deep breath* isn't applying some tricks in photoshop to your point and shoot camera the same as having thousands of dollars of photo equipment to take a good photo off the bat? (I know there are many greys in between but I'm trying to make a point :P) I really think it's silly to get caught up in the edited or not edited debate. I think to call yourself a true purist you would have to have your eye functioning as a camera! AND...whats even a good photo? Ahh a whole other debate

Photos at the end of the day serve many purposes but I like the fact that they are just a form of creativity!

stars edited
This photo was from our ginger factory ride trip, I think either Ben or I were forced to use our point n shoot's built in flash...arghhh horrible! So again I went to town, lots and lots of actions made this post edited shot!

waterfall unedited
Lastly an unedited shot! Now it could of possibly has some colour alterations in photoshop but truth be told it was just a combo of, my camera, the film, the light and the camera settings. So it's a purist's work but the end result is slightly unreal.  I yhink it's a more fun when you tweak reality whichever way you go about getting to it :P

I wish people weren't afraid to say there photos were edited for fear that they would become less worthy.  We should all be able to just like pretty pictures :)



  1. thanks fee for all that effort! i love looking at unedited vs edited shots. also airbrushing vs un-airbrushed. those are my faves! haha

    i never knew you edited your japan photos! that was like, SIX YEARS AGO! i don't think i even knew photoshop existed back then. oh god. i've become an old lady.

    purist are just people trying to be x-treme hipster. gross.

    i like all you've said. now, you just have to do a post about a tutorial to edit photos. wait. was that the old lady speaking again? :)

  2. Well to be honest I didn't start editing them straight away in Japan but I soon learnt I had a lot of free time at my job and no internet :P I also did a really basic edit, just a darken or lighten but along the way learned what photoshop has to offer...lots of free time and no escape from your job surrounding will force you to learn!

    Also I'd like to point out here is I love editing!!

    I might do a weekly photo edit blog entry...if I'm not too lazy :P



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