I usually start a new project with some information and research into the genre we are about to study, just to make sure I know what I am talking about and to set me up ready for the exercise(s) ahead, but having conducted some research into Editing I have not been able to find what I am looking for… perhaps I need to backtrack a little, as although we are looking at editing, we are not about to dive headlong into Lightroom, Photoshop or the likes, but we will be looking at just the fundamental process of uploading our images and editing out what is not needed.  In the coursework Freeman states the following in his opening paragraph:

“Editing has gradually acquired more than one meaning, including what I prefer to call processing (as in ‘image-editing software’).  Here we will stick to the original meaning in the world of pictures, both still and moving – as a selection process in which the less-good images in a set are winnowed away to leave the best.  This is an essential and active part of the creative process, and is an extension of shooting”.

Here we will look at some methodology surrounding technical audits where mistakes such as angle, exposure and general errors are identified and put aside from the better images within our batch.  This is the kind of image editing that should come at the very beginning of our post-processing workflow, and once done a photographer would then be able to start work on refining and re-editing his batch of photos into a more comprehensive body of work.

Of course, our image editing will not and should not be limited to this stage within our workflow, as there will be occasion when images will need to be deleted onsite, during a photography outing, which although is often a prudent move to make, it should be well though through before the action is carried out, as once an image is deleted in camera, it is lost forever.

Image editing is a crucial part of being a photographer and screening images both in camera and on a big screen helps us to build on our knowledge and to understand the kind of work we both like to conduct and are good at producing.  As with the work we conducted on workflow, it is good to create rituals and habits surrounding this stage of our process, which do not necessarily need to be followed to the letter, but can be manipulated to suit our needs as they arise.

Workflow software is intended to provide the photographer with an easy to use tool, enabling them to edit and maintain a comprehensive library of images (Freeman 2011, p.128).  By using the likes of Adobe’s Lightroom or Bridge browser software or Apple’s Aperture programme to upload images to your computer, you are not only able to see everything together in one place, but also able to include metadata to your work that will be sequential and specific to your needs thus reducing some points of your post-processing workflow.

N.B. Metadata is the term used to describe the additional information attached a digital file, in photography this could include file name, camera name, shooting information and in some cases GPS details.  This information can be either added automatically by the camera or manually by the user.



Digital Photographic Practice Course Work, Open College of the Arts

Freeman, M.  (2011) The Digital SLR Handbook.  Revised 3rd Edition. East Sussex: The Ilex Press Limited.

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2 Responses to PROJECT: EDITING

  1. profstoff says:

    “Image editing is a crucial part of being a photographer…” How true this is! A great part of the photographic process is about selection, we select what we place in the frame when we click the shutter, and we select what images we think are good enough to show others. So editing is just as important as the more “photographic” processes. Doing so, we have to make creative judgements about our work’s value, and I find that extremely difficult.

    • I too find it difficult, as what i would like to see is not always what someone else wants to see in the frame, if only we could show our work to those likeminded people! I have never really appreciated editing before and in the past have tended to just rush through my images and pick out those i like, which are not necessarily the best I have taken or fit the mood i am trying to capture – at the end of the day, this is why we are doing the course, so that we learn to understand and appreciate photography on a different level!

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