Wandering from the Editing Room
If I may, I’d like to take a quick break to muse on the love/hate relationship I have with editing photos. Simply put, I try to take the photo at the location and make it ready to print at that time. A lot of retouching happens on the professional side of things, but I found a quote on this site that comes from a pro who stands by the old school style of things. Have a look.
Being a photographer carries with the responsibility of never altering a photograph. (You can lighten, darken, sharpen, or crop the image and be safe. To alter is to “Make or become different in some particular way, without permanently losing one’s or its former characteristics or essence – either through darkroom techniques or digital “enhancement” – you are compromising the purity and integrity of the art.) Photography has an inherent quality of honest [sic] and you must have the courage to stand by the image.
The thing is, Western society is so used to alterations in photos that we don’t always notice when they’re being done. Since Photoshop is so ubiquitous in our lives, a lot of people tend to forget what an untouched photo really looks like. With the exception of my previous editing room entry, all of my photos are unenhanced. They are only resized to ease loading times. Otherwise, what you see is what you get. There is no digital alteration involved. For that matter, I don’t even use filters (and will only use a couple when I get a DSLR). My approach is minimal, yes. However, it allows for me to be more adaptable and be able to switch gears almost autonomically. I can be somewhat nomadic when I’m on a photography jaunt, as seen with the Light Rail project. I think nothing of walking three miles and covering multiple subjects along the way, all the while adjusting to countless shifts in light. These jaunts are definitely practice, but I’m doing more than trying out different composition when I’m out there. I’m making myself think on my feet and test the limits of my camera. Very, very few of my photos go to the editing room, and most of those are not selected for this blog. I may have a handle on editing, but I prefer to skip it because it doesn’t fit with my photography philosophy of getting the shot when on location. Perhaps in spite of all the new school equipment I have and will acquire as I get older and grow further into the craft I have an old school perspective on how photography should be approached. I think I’m more than okay with that.