Why Use Editing Software?
There are a lot of flat out incorrect ideas when it comes to photo editing software. This misinformation is usually passed around by the photography “purists", or those who believe that an image should be displayed straight from the camera, completely untouched by post processing software. Some of the more popular misconceptions regarding photo editing software are:
Myth #1 – Photo editing software can make a bad photo into a good one.
In a word, no. While editing programs can help improve an image by recovering lost details or correcting for white balance and contrast errors, there is no software on the market that can “fix" a photo that is hopelessly blurry, horribly composed or horrendously lit. As the old saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out". Editing software is meant to enhance images, not correct for poor photography.
Myth #2 – Any photographer worth his salt will get everything right in the camera.
Ideally, yes, a knowledgeable photographer will adjust his camera's settings to get the best image possible. But every camera has its limitations. Sometimes the right settings aren't quite enough. Or sometimes the photographer has a specific look in mind that no camera can provide. That's where post processing with photo editing software comes in.
Myth #3 – Using photo editing software is like lying to the viewer.
Some people think that editing a photo somehow degrades it because this processing alters what was actually captured. While this is true for the many scandal magazines that utilize editing software to place a well-endowed celebrity in the arms of Bigfoot, that's not quite what the average photographer will use it for. Removing a pimple, smoothing out a bride's skin tone or adding a vignette may not be factually accurate, but it does portray the subject in a favorable way.
Photography, as with most other visual arts, is a way of telling a story or expressing an emotion. Using photo editing software to enhance, de-emphasize, add or subtract elements within the image helps the photographer achieve the look and feel he or she was aiming for when the shutter clicked. Photo editing software should not be viewed as dishonest or cheating the viewer, but merely another tool in a photographer's arsenal to create great images.