I often get asked about editing, retouching, photoshopping, post-processing, call it what you like.
My clients often ask about it, what it is and why I do it. Well, here's a brief explanation...
Most cameras, whether it's a compact camera or built into a phone, processes the captured images. There are often a few selections that the user can make to alter how the images are processed. For example, a 'sunset mode' will enhance the saturation of the warmer colours, creating a more spectacular effect. While a 'portrait mode' will aim for more accurate skin tones to flatter the subject. There are many different cameras, with many different options. But by altering saturation, contrast, hue, sharpness and white balance (to name just a few), camera manufacturers can give the user more of a say in how the processed image will look.
So, as a professional photographer I don't want my camera making any decisions about how my photos are processed. I want full control of every aspect, not leaving anything to chance (or a Japanese Software Engineer either).
I only capture RAW files. That means that the images I take into Photoshop have had no processing at all. This gives me the scope to create the photos exactly how I want them.
The image below compares the RAW file (straight from my camera) to a fully edited image ready for my clients wall.
Click the buttons on the photo to see a comparison between the original capture and the final edited version.
Capturing the photo is just half of the story. Every photographer edits their images completely differently, which is why every photographer has a certain look or style to their images.
Knowing how to capture that initial quality image and then having the skills in Photoshop to make it shine is everything.
The list of things that go into creating a single photo for my clients is huge... lighting, exposure, posing, focal length, white balance, contrast, sharpening, cropping, adjustment curves, saturation... the list goes on and on and on!