Photo Editing 101

Becca and I had a long, 3-min. conversation yesterday about the evils of photo editing... After the long, arduous discussion, we came back to the same conclusion that we were at before: some "photoshopping" isn't so bad. It's the over-the-top editing, (including, but not limited to, HDR) that is annoying (albeit sometimes really cool looking. See: Pictures of downtown St. Louis' Arch and Old Courthouse!).

Enter, Lightroom. It's the perfect photo processing tool that allows you to get the most out of your image while really maintaining its original nature. Like the name suggests, it enables some post-camera tweaking, similar to what a master developer might strive for in the darkroom. And that's why we love it. It lets us easily hone in on specific colors, tones, shadows, etc., without spending tons of time in Photoshop; and, yet, if we want or need to make other significant edits, boom -- instant Ps connectivity. Ideal.

Two samples of the same image. The first, no post-processing. Exactly what came out of the 5DII at 70mm, 400 ISO, 1/15 second, f/4. (Hand-held). The second, 15-30 seconds of Lightroom work. Again, same image. Mind you, neither one is great. It's just the illustration and the principle. The one on the right is much closer to reality. The one on the left is what the camera thought it saw. It's like cheap film vs. nice film, in a sense.

Our next conversation: full-frame image sensors vs. APS-C. Sound boring? Maybe. But I think you'll be surprised to see what you've been missing. (Think wide-screen movies vs. "adapted to fit your piece of junk tube TV from last decade.)

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