The Value of Image Editing


Often we receive comments like,


 "Those are great pictures!  You must have a really nice camera.  How many megapixels is it?"


In fact, it's not about the camera, and it's usually not about megapixels.  The lens creates the image, the camera merely records it.  But more importantly, the quality of an image often has more to do with post-exposure processing than the equipment used.


When you buy prints or CDs from Performance Photography, a great deal of time and effort has gone into making each and every image the best it can be.  In fact, we spend more time editing images than we spend taking pictures!  Follow the examples below to get an idea of what's involved.


Here is a shot from a theatre production.  This is the image recorded by the camera.


The color has a yellowish tint, because of the relatively low temperature of tungsten lighting.  The first step is to correct this.  While the actress's skin tones may look more natural in the original, the corrected version recreates the stage lighting more accurately.


Not all images are perfectly exposed, and this one could have been a bit brighter.  So the next step is to correct that.  In some images, the contrast is also adjusted.


The stone pillar on the left is vertical, but it looks a bit off-kilter since the camera was tilted a few degrees.  The image is rotated slightly to straighten it.


There is a lot of background in the picture which doesn't add to the value of the image, so it's cropped to fill more of the frame with the actress.


While modern digital cameras are far superior to film in the low light environment of a theatre, images taken in these conditions often contain "digital noise", off-colored pixels which produce a grainy appearance.  Specialized software is used to reduce this problem.


Finally, the image resolution is optimized for the intended print size, and another process is used to make it appear sharper. 


Comparing the original and final images will hopefully help to convey the value of professional image processing.  When you hire Performance Photography, you don't just get someone with a "really nice camera" to take pictures.  You're hiring people with the experience and training to edit digital images and produce the best pictures possible.


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