Thursday, January 24, 2008

Editing vs. Developing

Editing images consists of making major adjustments; adding or subtracting elements from an image, including blemish removals, removal of unwanted objects or flaws, removing shadows, adding spotlights, vignettes, removing or selective-removal of color, etc.

In summary, "editing" is qualified whenever specific elements of your original image have been removed, and/or specific elements have been added.*

* The exception to this rule is cropping.
Cropping an image is often desired by the photographer, in
post production, with film photography as well as digital, and
is not looked-upon as 'editing' or otherwise manipulating an

Developing your digital images is an entirely different concept, and it is best explained in this manner:

DSLR cameras are aimed at the more experienced photographer, or those that wish to further their skill in the art of photography. These shooters are the type that don't want the camera to do all the thinking for them, unlike the less expensive point-and-shoots.

Untouched raw images, as they are downloaded from a DSLR, the colors are somewhat drab, the contrast is low, the whole scene is slightly "unsharp". In comparison to FILM, as we know it, this file is the "digital negative". Like any negative, it needs developing. Today, we do this in the digital darkroom - photo editing software.

Developing includes:
* Adjusting luminosity curves (similar to contrast)
* Sharpening edges
* Adjusting saturation

Note: These actions do not change the content of the original image, but otherwise simply provides the same definition that is had with film photography.

Bottom line -- If you use a DSLR camera, your images WILL require adjustments for a polished, professional end result! You capture the image with the camera, you develop the image with the software.

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