Editing Style

When it comes to post processing in photography, like any other art form, there are no hard and fast rules with a big part of it being personal preference. That’s part of its beauty.

Like most things in life, the more you practice it, the better you get. It’s a learned skill like any other. Over the years I’ve experimented with different ‘styles’ and I think most photographers would agree, you end up going through various phases. Whether it’s the ‘HDR’ look, saturating the colours, monochrome, panoramas, colour grading, presets, the list goes on. 

I think that’s all part of the process to be honest, it helps you to figure out what you like and more importantly what you don’t like. 

I like to think my post processing style is continually changing, hopefully for the better, and I’m always looking at tips and tricks to help me along the way. The biggest shift in style for me was probably when I started to do more landscape photography as opposed to street and cityscape photography. 

Before I might have just used a few presets that would give me that standard or consistent look. It wasn’t until I became interested in landscapes that I realised the importance of tailoring your edit to get the most out of the scene. For me this was a big change, not only in terms of post processing, but also how I saw a scene and the interaction with other components such as light or shadow. 

Nowadays I try to ‘enhance’ a natural and realistic look and let the scene speak for itself. Generally that means not saturating the colours too much, keeping the shadows relatively dark and keeping the highlights bright. It’s always tricky balancing act however. 

In terms of my workflow I do the bulk of an edit, the global adjustments, in Lightroom to get it to a point where I’m happy with it. I’ll then take it over to Photoshop where I can then ‘finesse’ the image and give it those last remaining touches such as removing distractions or dodging and burning.