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Editing has become part art, part science and ends up being the crucial difference in good photos and incredible images.


Cameras are instruments of creativity, but can't always be relied upon to recreate what was envisioned by the artist. One of the first steps in making a quality photograph is to "visualize" the image. What is your unique style? What are you trying to convey, without words? Quality editing to represent your vision is an important step to creating that visualization realized.


1.   Contrast adjustment

2.   Color adjustment

3.   Selective color boost

4.   Skin Powder Genie

5.   Sharpening

6.   Blur water

7.   Lighten water

8.   Warming

9.   Edge burning

10. Spot lighting

11. 2 Parts Magic



This is the image I had envisioned, but to get there I needed to leave the shutter open for longer than normal to achieve the "milky" appearance of the waterfall. The camera image was honest but needed to be pushed to what I would envision if the camera could work more like the human eye and specific environmental conditions, like the light and shadows. - Image editing time: 45 minutes

Ansel Adams

Like the world-renowned photographer, Ansel Adams, many, many hours were spent in "post-processing", manually burning (darkening) and dodging (lightening) his images. 


Ansel Adams, not only was a great photographer, he was a master of the darkroom. In the time of film, the darkroom was Photoshop. Adams, in his book, The Print describes the work that he did in the darkroom on another of his famous images, Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake, Alaska (1948),


“The sky was of such low saturation blue that no filter would have had much effect… Considerable burning [darkening] and dodging [lightening] are required. I hold back the shadowed lake and foreground for about three-fourths of the exposure time, using a constantly moving card held relatively close to the lens…The lake surface is burned in later to balance the amount of dodging of the surrounding hills and foreground.” -Ansel Adams, The Print, Little Brown (1983)

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