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December 8, 2012
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Is there such a thing as too much editing in post (in your opinion)?

:iconforevercty:
foreverCTY Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
So I've seen this question come up on the internet a lot, and I was wondering what the dA community thought.

In your opinion, is there a limit or a point where you've gone too far editing a photo in post? Do you believe that you should at most just edit in a way that affects the entire image, or do you believe that Photoshop (or whatever equivalent you use) is only a tool in the process and as such should be used to it's full extent before you publish a photo?
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Devious Comments

:iconlaciemelhart:
LacieMelhart Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Professional Photographer
Yes. I worked as an MUA on a shoot with a new photographer in a TFP job. The raws he showed us (six damn weeks later!!! so much rage) were awful, but not nearly as awful as the edits - which to hear him tell, were works of God... It was highly disappointing but all of my other photog buddies got a laugh out of it after having their retinas dissolve.
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:iconmichel-jr:
michel-jr Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
speaking solely for me a good photo don't need editing , else it becomes a photo manipulation ...

but i understand the process at wanting to make a shot looks better .
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:iconforevercty:
foreverCTY Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
What about something like shooting in RAW, where it's quite literally a process in processing the photo to edit the contrast/ brightness curves before saving the photo?
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:iconaviscelox:
AvisCelox Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think that when it goes beyond improving the appearence or intent of the photograph and instead is just creating something entirely new with the original photo simply as a base, it goes beyond photography and is rather a photomanipulation.
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:iconolda-g:
Olda-G Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Many of the statements made in this thread would include most of fine art photography throughout history as "too much editing" long before digital photography and photoshop were invented. Photography as a technical recording of 'reality' did not qualify as art in the eyes of the fine arts community. Pictorialism in the late 19th and early 20th century was one of the first international movements to elevate photography from merely technical recording into an art form by moving photography beyond literal recording. Many other forms of photography as art emerged while photographers were still mainly working in film. Technical recording is preferred when photography is used for journalism or forensic documentation, but again that doesn't usually qualify as art.

If the intent of photography is fine art there is no such thing as too much editing. Much of the time, however, what we call too much editing is an attempt to make an uninteresting or technically flawed photograph into something interesting. MOst of us have done something along those lines. However, the best fine art photography usually comes when the photographer made the exposure with a certain editing or developing technique in mind at the time the shutter was pressed.
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:iconcastaway-battles:
Castaway-battles Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah, I agree there's too much editing. I'm terrible at editing, I have proof of it in my own galleries where I've messed with pictures for giggles, but I know people(one in particular) who has a 'business' and tries to sell her pictures but turns the saturation all the way up and puts a sun filter on EVERY photo she takes. And I mean every single photo. Sometimes she has really gorgeous pictures, and ruins them with a warmth filter on her old version of Photoshop and a sun flare thrown in there too. If a picture looks good, tweak it a little bit, but enough with the super altering. I'm no photographer, I'm an enthusiast, but even I can see when a photo is way too edited.
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:iconforevercty:
foreverCTY Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That's fair. Most of the time I think if you can make it realistic, you're doing a good job, but beyond that you're either doing something like a fantasy shoot where I believe it should still look realistic, or you're playing with it on purpose as a creative tool. So would you agree editing is too far when it's not serving the creative presentation of the photograph in question.
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:iconcastaway-battles:
Castaway-battles Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I do agree if it's not serving the presentation than it's too far. If a picture is beautiful without editing or with minimal curve adjustment, then leave it be. I don't understand this constant need to use filters on photos that only ruin them and it seems to be an epidemic, at least from what I've seen between friends, to use saturation and sun filters on every photo instead of adjusting curves or leaving a picture alone. It really does ruin the creativity of the photo.
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:iconzeflyingmuppet:
ZeFlyingMuppet Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Filmographer
You can only go so far before it's basically like a photomanipulation o_o

:shrug: It seriously depends. I think once it starts to NOT look like a photo, that's too far.

Then again, a lot of people have their own boundaries on editing and such.
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:iconforevercty:
foreverCTY Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well most of the edits I do not counting cosplay are just basic colour correction, and the occasional vignettes and gradient darkening. Even when I edit for cosplay, I try to keep it looking realistic.
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