It doesn’t matter, how good a photographer is. Photo editing always plays a fundamental role in the final result of an image.
When I say I’m a photo editor, everybody thinks I just retouch images in photoshop, making people skinnier or more curvy, younger or more beautiful. Well this is not the main part of my job, at all. It actually happens rarely to play the magic surgeon, and even if that is really fun, it’s not what my job is about. Photo editing is creation and interpretation.
First of all, there are the obvious corrections that will fix the file. Sometimes they will be tiny, sometimes deeper, depending on the luck, the experience and the rigor of the photographer.
In this example, courtesy of Finn Mooney Photography, I just had to slightly adjust exposure and white balance to extract the perfect, beautiful image that the photographer had in mind when he shot it.
Ok, fine, so you think that’s it. You couldn’t be more wrong! In fact, each and every good photographer has his/her own style, either in color or black and white photography. Therefore, my job is to identify their style by viewing their work and try to exactly reproduce it in the most faithful way.
So there are many photographers who love a vintage feeling in their images, the ones who love them more punchy, more sleeky, more vibrant…
And this is not just a caprice, a different editing doesn’t just give the feel of the shot, but it can also change the meaning of it. Nevertheless some photographers don’t understand it and dedicate to the editing the least of their effort, with the very sloppy results that you can easily imagine…
Don’t think that the black and white has less opportunity of work on it. I personally love b&w photography and I think everybody looks more beautiful on it! So I always take the chance to make a beautiful b&w image, when I think it fits perfectly with the image. That could be because of a very moving moment captured by the photographer, or because of the particular composition – for example if it’s very geometric -, or when colors are not important if not disturbing and, finally, when the image has a classic and elegant look that the b&w would just stands out.
When I decide that a photo will be b&w, I have to think which style would fit better on it. Seems like photographers pay less attention on the style of their black&white, mainly because the majority of clients prefer color photos. Which is a pity, because b&w photographs can be real masterpieces. Just think about some of the most beautiful movies of cinema history. They are in black&white, and not just the old ones… [Little tip for you, watch the stunning Polish movie “Ida” (2013, by Pawel Pawlikowski), or the opening scene of “Antichrist” (2009, by Lars von Trier)].
Hope you enjoyed this little spy on photo editing world!
Over and out.