So, post editing is cheating. Anything after the shutter release is cheating you say!?

I say not! There are those who say that post editing is cheating; the way a picture comes out of a camera is the only way it should be displayed.

There was a time when only those with enough money to invest could hope to display rich, elegant photographs in their personal collection. Not today. It’s a whole lot easier today than it was with film.

With digital photography anybody can do post editing and achieve professional results. Pictures have never come out of a camera “finished.” There has always been post editing done. Do you thing Ansel Adams displayed raw pictures?

As a matter of fact every professional photographer from the very beginning of the industry realized they had to work on their pictures after the fact. Take a look at the next two pairs of pictures.





The first pair is the before and after of a shot taken with an expensive DSLR. The second pair is the before and after of a shot taken with a $100 Point & Shoot camera. In both cases the before picture is relatively flat and lifeless. Simple post editing more than made up for it.

All the settings were right for each picture. Also, things change moment by moment and the lighting will seldom be consistent between two shots. What all this means to you as the photographer is don’t ever expect to get museum quality photographs straight out of the camera.

Costly or cheap camera, some shots will look great straight out of the gate. More will look lousy. Granted, the more knowledgeable you are and the better you prepare the more phenomenal the results you can expect. But claiming, as some do, that any post editing is “cheating” is just absurd.

You will shoot great shots all day long. Then you’ll get home, excitedly load them into your computer only to find that the best shot of the entire day is either over exposed, under exposed, or it looks flat. If you have no way to edit the shot, it is junk!

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