The importance of photo editing – Updated!

Three years ago I wrote a post with the same title “The importance of photo editing” and if I read it now I can see how much my work has improved.
It is not just about the quality, but obviously my knowledge on the matter has got deeper and deeper.

I’ve also joined a few photographers communities online where I’ve learned so much and I’m very grateful for that.
In the last couple of years, I’ve started to collaborate with more clients from various countries, whose style goes from the very clean and colourful to the moody film look. Three years ago I didn’t even know that the film look was a thing and that hybrid photography existed. 

It is so much fun to edit works so different from each other and that’s basically the reason I never get bored, no matter how many hundreds of files I have to work on.

Something that hasn’t changed is that when I talk about my work as a photo editor, I still find that people think I am a kind of digital plastic surgeon.
Which is funny because this is the thing I do the least. I never deeply retouch a portrait, unless it is specifically required.

So, what is the photo editor job really about?

elena cristofanon, photo editor

The one above is a SOOC (straight out of camera) shot: it is kind of a casual shot (the last one taken of me before the Covid-19 lockdown here in Dublin).
As it was somehow spontaneous, we just used the natural light without anything particular in mind, only the nice contrast between the flowers in the foreground and the straight vertical lines of a modern building in the background.
Once you put on the editor’s hat, you have plenty of choices with an image like this, because it’s a plain shot.
More saturation or desaturated, dark&moody or bright and vibrant, warm monochrome-like or contrary black&white. I have to say I kind of like all of them on this shot.

But there is some kind of shots that already tell their story. You can try to change them, but they will always reveal what was in the photographer’s mind. This is a photograph that I took for one of my ongoing projects, born during the lockdown:

photo editing

This is the actual breakfast shot SOOC. I decided to take this photograph because the sun was so strong and the contrast so nice that I couldn’t resist. Because of that light, it’s quite obvious that I wanted to play and enhance that contrast. As a result, the images where the shadows are brighter appear to me much weaker than the ones with deep blacks, and that’s tru for both colur and black and white.

What do you think?

Special thanks to Victor, my photographer and model in this quarantine days (and always!)