Is Editing Required?

A Learn Photography for Free Video

The question has been asked:  Do I need to edit every photo I take?  I have attended some workshops, and everyone tells me that I need to edit my photos.  Do I need to learn Photoshop or other editing programs to become a good photographer?

See the video:

Do you need to edit every photo you take?  The short answer is NO.

Let me explain:

If you approach photography from the mindset that you can fix your photos by editing them to look good, then that will make you a good editor, not a good photographer.  If you approach photography from the mindset that you need t create the best possible photo in camera then you become a good photographer and any editing you may choose to add then enhances something which is already good.

A good photographer focuses on creating great images in camera while a graphic designer, graphic artist or photo retoucher takes what they have and manipulate it until they have something that looks good.

Do you need to learn something like Photoshop or Lightroom to be a good photographer…no…but in the long run it will enhance your images.  When you are a beginning photographer, focus on creating good photos without any editing, before you attempt any editing.  If a photo does not look right or something is wrong, then focus on how you can do it differently or better in camera with your next photo.  These are the primary skills that will make you a better photographer.

Eventually all photographers start editing images but trying to combine this skill with your photography from the start may result in you learning to become a good editor rather than becoming a good photographer.

Learn photography first and when you get to the point where you know your camera and what it can produce and you have mastered it functions and abilities, then you look at editing to go beyond the abilities of the camera.

I am not against editing or digital manipulation of images, nor filters which are available on the various social media platforms, but once you master photography then editing becomes an enhancement rather than a tool to fix bad photography.

If you at a point where you feel that you are ready to learn editing, then first do subtle edits such a adjustment of light using exposure, contrast, shadows and highlights.

For editing purposes, it is best to shoot photos in your cameras raw format if available.  If your camera can shoot RAW and JPG at the same time, use this function and then edit the raw to a point where your feel it looks better than the JPG image without it being overdone. 

When you enter the world of professional photography then editing is part of the job to enhance the great photos you have taken.  A professional photographer does not rely on their editing skill to make bad photos good.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section on the YouTube video above and I will try my best to answer them.