The Magic of Photo Editing

Originally, I planned a trip downtown to explore the 13th Avenue as one of my followers suggested (thank you!), and I believe it will be a fun expedition. However, my schedule does not seem to work out for me, and instead of having you wait till next week, it seems to me a perfect opportunity to tell you the pros and cons of post-processing.

To be frank, I have included post-processing in my list of “possible blog topic” for a long time. It is like a fire, easily taken advantage of and easily misused. See the following image edited and take note of their difference:

From bland to vibrant:

20170528_151253 (2)
Google Photos: Palma Effects
20170528_151253
original

From Cloudy to Sunny to Stormy:

20170528_151113_001
original

20170528_151113_001

20170528_151113_001-01
Snapseed: used the “curve” function+ horizontal lens blur

If you have no idea what the “curve” function or the horizontal lens blur is, be calm: it is incredibly simple!

I use only ONE editing app: snapseed. It is extreme powerful and easy to use, appropriate for a one-minute editing or a complete repainting of your original work. It is available on both IOS and Android for free. I will not bother explaining the numerous function on its menu because it takes you less than five minutes to try all the functions out! However, if you are confused, please comment!

Even an easier alternative is Google Photos, which provides unlimited online storage of photos at up to 16 megapixels per photo. Not only is it an answer to security of photos to mobile photographers, it has a built-in “effects” that can make your photo possess a completely different tone than that of the original. The proof is above.

Here is the tricky part: the editing apps can dramatically alter the photo. In a sense, we have the power to ‘make up’ what is in our original scene. You can make the photo appear sunny or stormy, regardless of what the weather was at the time the photo is taken. As a photographer, photo-editing apps give you incredible liberty to transform a piece of the world to art, so it may evoke great feelings from the viewer. The photo can become your canvas to add more on. In my opinion, however, every editing you do to the original photo should have a definite purpose. It cannot just be justified by saying “it seems to make the photo look better.” How better? Is this really what you try to convey to the viewer? Many photography blog posts I read contain some sort of a complaint that the abundance of filters on Instagram and other apps somehow diminish the meaning of photography. If you are going to tell viwers what happened, don’t edit the photos except to highlight detail or to achieve other necessary adjustments. If you are going to make art, put thought into your every stroke.

In my next post, I will hopefully deliver you some wonderful architecture and and art photos from downtown. Stay tuned!

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