Premature Thoughts on Editing Candid Street Photography Images

I don’t know how I feel about editing street photography images that I take. At the moment the most editing I do of an image is just exposure and contrast changes to make the raw image file resemble what I saw when I took the image. But I do understand that sometimes major editing, cropping and colour adjustments can help make an image a lot better. Despite this I find myself reluctant to do too much editing in either Lightroom or Photoshop. I will admit part of it is due to my lack of experience with the programs, although I do plan on learning more about them. There is also the factor that I’d like to get good enough at framing a picture that cropping would only be needed if something was out of my control, I find it is a bit of a shortcut to rely too heavily on cropping in post-production and one that could catch up to you one day.

My ideology now when I go out to do some street photography is that I’d like to let the picture do the talking without too much interference on my part through editing. I am just the tool the story is using to get it’s point across. I’m the middle man. I can decide on how the image is framed, the angle it is taken in and the settings as well, but if the image cannot tell its story after I’ve manipulated these three things then no further amount of manipulation is truly going to get its message across, it will only get the photographers.

I understand different styles of street photography and photography in general require different mindsets but in my opinion at this time, candid street photography should not go through too much post editing if realism is part of your story.

I’d just like to end on the message that my views on this are subject to change as the more I learn about photography the more my views will most likely change. I am open to others interpretation and thoughts on this subject because as a student I feel the more perspectives on photography I can learn and understand, the better I will become.

Michael out.

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3 Comments on "Premature Thoughts on Editing Candid Street Photography Images"

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Michael J Gorey

I like your approach. Street photography seems more authentic without editing.


Great start to your website and blog.
I like your thinking on this, but don’t beat yourself up on editing to tell your story..and this is only my opinion. Remember that everytime we press the shutter button, we as photographers are leaving some things in or out to tell our stories. If you can refine that later in post ,so be it.