Editing as Art
Editing an image in the digital age has become as much a part of the art as looking through the viewfinder and capturing the image. Editing can take a good image and push it to extraordinary. What's more, different edits to the same image can change the story it tells.
Editing an image in the digital age comes with liberties never considered possible when images were printed in darkrooms, then developed chemically. In the era of wet development, exploring a myriad of possibilities was not practical, yet in the digital era, nothing but limits on time (and hard drive space) prevents trying variation after variation.
What is the Story?The story of an image is sometimes so apparent, the editing process is all about bringing it out from the pixels. However, sometimes, an image could tell different stories depending on how it is edited. Herein lies the photographer's challenge. What story should a particular image tell?
Sometimes, that story is dictated by others. Shooting portraits for someone guides the photographer toward certain looks and feels that are expected by whomever commissioned the portrait.
Other times, the story is less limited. The photographer sometimes has the option to take an image where desired.
The goal of editing should be to find the story in the image and enhance it. And where an image is ambiguous, editing can clarify the message.
What are the Tools?
The low saturation combines with the perspective to create a
lonely, distant mood in this foggy image.
At the extremes, low saturation becomes a black and white image and high saturation becomes… it looks like it was colored with a box of 16 crayons —or even only 8.
Limits and Considerations
This photo manipulation resulted in neither of the image halves
looking like the actual model.