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Author Topic: Does photo editing software make you lazy?  (Read 4152 times)

Offline Cabbyjohn

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Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« on: June 30, 2013, 08:18:43 AM »
Forgive me if this question has been covered before. I was going through some photographs I took recently when it occurred to me how much I use a photo editing program to give my pics a final polish. I am an elderly snapper rather than an accomplished photographer. I enjoy getting out and about with my camera. I use a decent super zoom rather than an all whistles and bells full DSLR.

I am only to aware how much photo editing "Improves" my finished product and I wouldn't want to be without it.  However I am old enough to remember when I took some photographs, sent them away to be processed, then opened the packet anxiously to see how many of my photographs of the 24 or 36 on the roll had turned out ok. Back then I had to concentrate to make sure that what I thought I was taking would be the finished product after processing. Speaking personally and because it's not my living, I tend not to spend as much time lining up my shot than I suspect I used to do. If I have something encroaching into my photograph that I may not have noticed I can simply crop it later.

I realise that in my case at least it's lack of concentration. However I would be interested to hear what other people think?

Does Photo Editing Software make one lazy?  :doh:
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 08:29:34 AM by Cabbyjohn »



Offline SimonW

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2013, 09:27:52 AM »
I'm not sure lazy is the right word - perhaps I'd say less careful. But I do suspect it's an age thing rather than the effect of knowing that you can edit later.

I often find that where I would take one film shot I'll take a whole sequence of shots on digital, knowing that I can throw away all but the best one. But I do tend to rush things, and think less about each shot. So maybe you can blame the use of digital instead of film rather than blaming the use of software.
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Offline jinky

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2013, 09:55:25 AM »
Software is about anything else but making you lazy. A Simon says laziness is in not aiming to get the shot right in camera as much as possible first which a lot of us are guilty of. I think software just enables us to expand on / deliver what was in our head when we shot. A whole other skill set that can turn a good shot into a hopefully great one and thus is so not lazy. I remember when I first did some black and white printing at college - magical seeing your shot come through and soemtimes I get the same feeling now when I turn a run of the mill shot into something better after a little bit of playing. Eats up so much time sometimes I`d hate to call it lazy!

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2013, 10:09:33 AM »
Maybe I am old fashioned but I do try to think about composing my shots before I press the shutter release. In the film days I had a dark room set up and would spend literally hours mucking about in there. Simon is right though, you can afford to get it wrong in camera, and you can instantly see where you've got it wrong and try again.

That said, I will often take a shot with how I am going to process it later firmly in mind. And to my way of thinking the extra possibilities that various software packages allow us to explore actually make the amount of thinking and editing time increase rather than decrease. That said, when you can find a 'one click' effect that creates exactly the look you are after it is rather gratifying. My two favourites for that are the clarity slider in Photoplus which seems to do so much more than the Adobe equivalent, and the perfectly clear button in Aftershot Pro. But that's probably because I only have two relatively inexpensive primes and my zoom lenses are not exactly razor sharp.

Currently I am trying to learn how to use Nik effectively after the Finance Director unexpectedly gave her permission to buy it. :) That's going to take a while.
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Offline Cabbyjohn

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2013, 10:33:45 AM »
Yes I think you are right, perhaps lazy is too strong a word. I did think about changing the word before I posted. I think less careful is more appropriate.  :-[ I hadn't really considered the digital aspect, whereby you can shoot lots of pics of the same shot, and with smartphones tablets etc. one can usually view your pics in a decent size immediately after taking them, and usually spot where correction may be needed on the spot.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 10:35:30 AM by Cabbyjohn »

Offline Simple

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2013, 04:21:48 PM »
I also make the mistake of editing pictures when there is not much editing needed. I over edit portraits on a regular basis just because I am used to editing that way. Complacency sets in when I edit large volumes of wedding pictures. While a tripod slows you down making an image, I would like something that makes me think more before I start editing about the picture and in what way it need improving. I don't know if I make myself clear, but it is something I do less and less.

Offline donoreo

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2013, 05:07:37 PM »
I agree with the less careful.  I am almost always too rushed when taking photos.  Yesterday I did purposely get out my filters rater than correct in software.  I have not seen the photos yet, I still might need to.  I only had 30 minutes, maybe, to do these photos while the girls were swimming. One problem with being rushed is remembering all the things I have learned.  Later when looking at the photos I will remember something I should have or could have done. 

Just this morning I tweeted this on the topic of time:
One thing I really miss from childhood: time. Time to do nothing.  Time to think. Time to dream. Time to explore. Time to grow.

Offline Matthew

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2013, 06:32:41 PM »
I always try to get my photos "just so" in camera, so I can get away with doing as little editing as possible. I find the the whole process a bit of a chore, but sometimes it is neccessary if like some have mentioned, to expand the shot into something out of the ordinary.

When I do editing, it's usually a bit of curves, color levels and/or dodging and burning. When I am out and about on a dedicated shoot, I can find myself spending 15 minutes setting up/taking one shot and maybe 2 minutes having a wee tweak in post processing.

If I'm feeling rushed, it's the other way round!  :2funny:

Editing software is a handy tool to have....good for giving your piccies that extra "something" and a good "get out of jail" card if your shots aren't up to your usual standard.
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Offline Markulous

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2013, 08:17:46 AM »
I concentrate on the important technical side of setting up the shot beforehand: ISO/shutter/aperture/exp comp (and vaguely attempt to keep on top of changing environmental conditions). The most important, the composition, I leave to instinct and worry about the unimportant detail of things creeping in until the later processing. Yup, clone things out later but my images definitely benefit from not 'overthinking' the shot (and I often don't get time to think at all!)
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Offline spinner

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2013, 03:25:28 AM »
I take the view that I actually have two hobbies. One hobby is photography and the second hobby is photo editing. I enjoy both. Not to say I take photos so they need editing and I shoot in RAW so the original is always kept. I just like to play around with the RAWs after the shots are taken.
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Offline Karen

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2013, 01:00:07 PM »
I think it generally depends quite a lot on which medium you learnt your craft on. I have been enjoying photography for over 30 years and with film there wasn't much margin for error. I still see everything as a photograph and spend ages getting exactly what I want for my initial shot. I think all digital definately needs editing to a certain degree but getting it right first time makes that editing so much easier.

Offline ABERS

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2013, 07:48:53 AM »
I take the view that I actually have two hobbies. One hobby is photography and the second hobby is photo editing. I enjoy both. Not to say I take photos so they need editing and I shoot in RAW so the original is always kept. I just like to play around with the RAWs after the shots are taken.

Couldn't agree more Spinner.  :tup:
The 'immediacy' of digital is it's own worst enemy. How often do you see pictures posted on forums that have been taken that day, or even that hour in some cases, with little thought of how the finished image appears. Perhaps there should be a rule, or a self imposed process that you cannot post a picture until it's at least 48 hours old. It may make people sit back and look harder and 'see' what they have taken before launching it into the world.

With film, the majority of time is spent in the darkroom getting things how you want them and then perhaps some little added time spent spotting and knifing to clean up the finished print.

Not only did you have to think the picture through in camera, it had to be thought through in the darkroom. Anyone who can produce a half decent image without some form of editing or judicious manipulation has my total admiration.

P.S. I have a third and fourth hobby to go with Spinner's two, printing the image and then cutting a compatible mount to finish the job off.

Offline wavemachine

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2013, 09:51:27 PM »
I don't think so, I never takes shots thinking I can sort that out later, unless I am specifically planning for an editted effect afterwards then I don't even think about what I am going to do afterwards when I take the shot, I quite often take events for people over a few hours and the last thing I want to be doing is spending ages editing every image.

However with certain subjects I just have to work quickly especially where wildlife is concerned and just get the best shot I can, focus and composition are of real importance here to me, I tend to shoot in AV most of the time but I can end up and rely a bit more on editing in those situations.

Having said all that if there is an image I really like and think I can eeek more image goodness out then I will spend more time in front of the screen.

So no I don't think I am lay, it is just another part of my photography toolkit!

Interestingly when I go out to take photos I have noticed I take a lot less than I use to!
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Offline Oldboy

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2013, 11:11:50 PM »

Interestingly when I go out to take photos I have noticed I take a lot less than I use to!

That's because you are getting older and your finger doesn't work as fast!  :P

Offline StephenBatey

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Re: Does photo editing software make you lazy?
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2013, 12:23:43 AM »
I don't think editing software makes you lazy. I can't the same about digital cameras, but that's a different topic (even if it has been touched on here).

For former film photographers, the effect of knowing that there is a "software safety net" probably depends on whether they used colour or black and white. With slides there was little you could do after the exposure; with colour prints - well, very few amateurs probably made their own. Black and white photographers were accustomed to using a darkroom, knew what they could achieve, and in some cases persevered until they got the print they wanted. Hence, they used the darkroom in the same way as digitalographers use Photoshop (or whatever) and saw it as an integral part of the image making process.

One of Edward Weston's sons complained that when assisting his father in the darkroom, Edward would sometime take 3 days just to get one print the way he wanted. Anyone spent three days in Photoshop on a single image? Whatever your answer, lazyness doesn't seem to really enter in. Photo manipulation has always gone on; and the skilled photographers usually took into account what they were going to do afterwards.

 

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