Post-Processing and Editing…

Post-Processing involves adjusting the photographic properties of an image file. This includes color balance, tonal values, attention to highlight and shadow detail, fine-tuning of verticals, and cropping. Post-processing is part of my normal photographic workflow and is included in my base fees.

Editing goes one step further by altering the content of an image, such as making physical changes to an object, or eliminating unwanted distractions such as debris, signage, electrical cables, electrical outlets and switches, and wall or floor vents. It may also include adding elements not in the original view or making creative changes to the image. To save the time and expense of editing every post-processed image that I deliver, I edit only those images that are selected by my clients for editing. This stage of my workflow incurs an additional fee.

The following examples illustrate some of the differences between post-processing and editing:


Here’s an example of an unprocessed RAW file straight from the camera.

Here’s an example of an unprocessed RAW file straight from the camera.

RAW IMAGE FILES

This shot was made with the camera mounted atop a 25 foot mast (shadow in the foreground) in late afternoon in order to benefit from direct sunlight on the building facade. However, the shadows of utility lines and poles, as well as power lines above the distant horizon, a wind-induced tilt to the camera, and the sour color tones typical of a fresh RAW image make this image unacceptable for any client.


 
 
This is a POST-PROCESSED version of the above RAW image.

This is a POST-PROCESSED version of the above RAW image.

POST-PROCESSED IMAGE FILES

This post-processed version of the above RAW image has been adjusted for white-balance, exposure value, highlight and shadow detail, tonal values, and sharpness. The horizon and verticals have been corrected, and the image has been slightly cropped. Many times post-processed images are ready for use without additional editing. At other times, such as with this image, when editing is anticipated or required, post-processed images may be considered as preliminary proofs.

 
 

 
 
The POST-PROCESSED image file has now been EDITED and formatted as a JPEG file.

The POST-PROCESSED image file has now been EDITED and formatted as a JPEG file.

EDITED IMAGE FILES

The final edited version of this image has had the shadows of the utility cables and poles eliminated, the asphalt cleaned and darkened, parking lines and curbs enhanced, sidewalks cleared of debris, power lines in the distance eliminated, and the image further cropped. Such changes have resulted in a nicely balanced image suitable for the client's portfolio. To save the time and expense of editing all post-processed images delivered to a client, I edit only those images selected for editing by the client.