Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Attitude Behind Photo Editing


 Photo Editing is so prevalent that apps exist to transform your face and add makeup even before the photo is taken. We're all aware that it's so unrealistic that most adds look absolutely nothing like the original shoot. All that deception and vanity has left a bitter taste in my mouth for photo editing. But is there a time and a place for it? Perhaps so. There's nothing wrong with wanting a picture to look its best, just so long as it accurately portrays the person. And sometimes pictures just don't do the person justice, or can capture annoying little features that otherwise wouldn't be noticed in "real life."
 Above you see, side-by-side, a before and after of a quick webcam pic of me. I'm not wearing much more makeup than I would on any given day - foundation, grey eye shadow, black eyeliner, and mascara - although some days I'll only wear foundation, or none.
 My process was simple: upload the picture to ipiccy.com, and increased exposure. I literally just made it look more sunny. This doesn't change anything about me, it simply adjusts the environment. Then, I must admit, I used the "liquify" feature just to add just a touch of volume to the top of my hair. (I'm so ashamed of my conceit!) Then I cropped it to make a balanced photo. And that's all folks! Some simple, non-invasive adjustments can bring out the best in your photograph. And it only took 3-5 minutes.
 Another thing I could've done as well would  to erase the background, as it's distracting from the focal point, but I refuse to spend that much time on a snapshot of me.
 So where does one draw the line? I think that the attitude one brings into the editing makes a huge difference. Is it to make a picture a better picture, or to see how many "likes" you can get on your profile pic? That consideration alone makes a huge difference.
 Also, if you're changing something that is naturally part of you, I'd reconsider. I wouldn't use the "liquify" app to elongate my neck, or slim my body, or the "clone" app to erase my widows peak on my forehead. Those features are naturally part of who I am. I feel that the finished edit accurately portrays who I am.
 So next time you decide to edit a photo of you or a friend, look to lightly enhance and balance instead of change. Because the point of every surface self-improvement should be to enhance, not to over-haul.
 But, admittedly, I'm not very good at photography or editing. What are some tips you'd like to share?

4 comments:

Sheebs said...

This is something I battle with every day when editing photos. There is a fine line between touching up and totally falsifying a persons looks. We are all perfect the way we are, but our societal expectations proceed us a lot of the time. I Will only go as far as to fix blemishes, crop out or move an object, and enhance colours. Photography is an art and people are entitled to their creativity, but I don't believe the photo shopped "goddess" should be allowed to be published magazines or used in social media.

Michaela Danielle said...

Yes! That's exactly what I think too. Thanks Sheebs. Right from the mouth of a photographer.

M said...

I honestly never use any sort of photo editing so I have no idea. Thanks for the tips though. I love your blog background.

-M
The Life of Little Me

Michaela Danielle said...

Thanks M. I honestly don't do much photography, so I don't have many opportunities to edit.