October 24, 2011

The importance of cropping and editing your pictures

OK.  Lets just get to the point.
I cannot stand busy photos.
If you want a photograph of your child's messy face, than get a picture of their messy face.  Not of the dusty coffee table and magazines in the background.
It is just noise that makes the memory unmemorable.
Make sense?

When people take pictures, it is because they experience a moment that creates some sort of emotion and they want to remember it forever.
But then they do nothing else with that emotion/memory and all is lost in a crappy picture.

This is where editing comes in.
Please, please, please spend some money on a simple editing program.  Please.
Pretty please.
I have Photoshop and Lightroom.
But I use this one 99.9% of the time because it is so much easier and faster.

And I edit every single photograph that I save for my photo albums/blog/frames/facebook.
Let me show you a few examples.

SOOC {straight out of camera}

That took approximately 5.2 seconds of my life and I am so much happier with it.  Sure, it isn't really a photo that stirred up an emotion but I just wanted to show you how a bit of cropping and colour enhancement changes the entire look of a picture.

Moving on......

A photograph of myself and my boys all looking at the camera is a huge accomplishment but I don't really want to remember the coats beside us and I would love a closer view of our beautiful faces because that is what the picture is all about right?

Looking at this picture makes me smile.
And cry.
{look at my wrinkles}

And then there is this......

An OK picture taken on our walk recently, but there is so much more that can be done to it to make it better.  You can brighten up the colours, crop some of the busy-ness out, sharpen it up to see more details.  But right now it just looks dull. 

My main concern was the sign because, my eyes automatically focused on it and that makes me sad.  I edited it out, cropped it and changed to a simple black and white pic.  Just like that, it becomes a completely different picture and one that I actually like instead of delete.

Editing is excellent.

This picture is the perfect example of editing to create emotion and freeze a moment I want to remember.
My big boy was taking a quiet moment with his thoughts.  He wasn't paying attention to his brother howling like a wolf or his sister whining because she had to wear pants.  He was just one with himself looking over the bridge and I loved watching it.  So I snapped.  And then edited.

And just like that, I have the moment saved, the emotion remembered.

And a happy Momma.


Elaine A. said...

I edit every single photo I post too. And I love your last example because yes, you can even edit out people you love if need be. ;P I've done it too...

Beth Snapping Away said...

I edit all my photos. I participate in a few Straight-out-of-the-camera linkies, and it just kills me when i have to post an unedited shot.

Jennifer said...

I edit all of my photos also. I use Lightroom, Faststone, and/or Picnik. I love the way Lightroom does color and filters, but then I love the way Faststone does cropping and if I want to add captions it is also great for that. Picnik is just fun.

Melanie @ Whimsical Creations said...

I could not agree more.

Adrienne said...

Well said, great examples! I was intimidated by photo editing...until I realized that, as a scrapbooker, I do that with photos all the time! As soon as I took that eye to the "editing room" I was at ease and loved the results! Great post!

Gigi said...

Thank you SO much for this post! I am not a photographer - nor do I play one on my blog - but even though I "kinda know" about editing in the back of my mind - I never think about doing it with MY pictures.

You may have just changed my whole life. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but not by much.

Kat said...

Oh you are making me feel guilty! I should definitely spend more time editing. I do need to learn how to take some tnings out of some pictures....!

Heatherlyn said...

I have the hardest time with things in the background I don't like. I still haven't figured out how to get my house picture-perfect because no matter how clean it is there still seem to be unseemly things pop up in the background. :P But I read this post and went and cropped a bunch of pictures that I probably otherwise wouldn't have and they do look better. You do a GREAT job on your edits!