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  • Writer's pictureRobert Adcock

Photo Editing, It's a Necessity Rarely Considered By Clients.

I can say with confidence that just about every published photograph you see has been edited to some extent. Depending on what edits are performed, this can take a great deal of time when you are looking at a full day of wedding photography.

This blog will demonstrate some of the edits needed to make your photographs look amazing and hopefully establish why clients are paying for more than a few hours of photography.

Exposure:
The photograph above shows how, on the left, the camera has correctly exposed the bright light of the sun, in doing so the rocks and the sky are too dark. There are some clever tricks the photographer can perform in camera to counter this to some extent but essential editing intervention is required.

It is important to remember that the human brain is extremely clever and 'tricks' us a lot of the time, it knows how things should look so compensates for us.


White Balance:

Take a look at some photographs taken indoors with the lights on and you may notice that there is an orange cast across the entire image, that is because the lighting is tungsten which is orange. The reason we don't see this when we are in the room is that our brain knows how the colouring should be and again compensates. This is easily fixed via a camera white balance setting but demonstrates again how if lighting is effecting the overall look of the photograph (as is common in churches) then editing may be required to rectify it.


Spot Healing:

However hard we try to take the best photographs professional photographers cannot control every aspect of a scene, a lot of you may have seen amusing photographs of a bride and groom with a dog relieving itself in the background, funny but not what is wanted in the wedding album so if somehow that hadn't been spotted when the picture was shot the dog needs to be removed from the photograph.

The image below, of a boy on a beach with his puppy, shows a number of people in the background, editing allows the unwanted items to be removed while keeping the details of the beach sea and rocks as if no one else was present.
I have, in the past, had to remove cars, onlookers, animals and even in one case crutches and a cast on one wedding guest. This is a great skill but must also be used ethically and with consideration. I have heard of photographers removing moles, scratches or blemishes from a person's skin without being asked to. The result was offence taken by the person witch reflects badly on the photographer. I was asked to remove the crutches from my image which is why I did it.


RAW vs JPEG

As discussed in a previous blog 'The Inconvenience of Not Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer' unprofessional photographers will record their photographs as JPEGS whereas professional photographers will shoot their images in RAW, so what's the difference?

Simply put, JPEG is a compressed image processed in camera, much of the image information is discarded and cannot be recovered. Alternatively RAW images are uncompressed and as such contain all of the image information. The result is that the image comes out of the camera looking flat and dark in comparison to a JPEG image and need to be edited, however because there is more tonal and colour data then the option is there to effect many more aspects of the image.

If your photographer doesn't shoot RAW I would strongly recommend finding a new photographer.


Summary:

I have covered just a few basic edits here which dramatically change the photographs but there are many other considerations when editing images; Vibrance, shadows, highlights, cropping, contrast, saturation, chromatic aberration, texture and clarity are some other aspects which professional photographers will look at when they perform edits.

So if you're thinking that £1500+ is a lot to pay for eight hours of photography consider the information from this blog, there could be another ten, twelve, fifteen hours or more to give you the beautiful imagery that you are paying for. In addition proficient use of editing software is a skill all of it's own which takes time and learned knowhow to perfect. Photography is so much more than owning a camera.


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