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Should you edit your images or not, is a topic which always crops up among photographers. While some believe that a virgin, untouched photo is the way to go, others swear by their photo editing skills.

The human eye is an amazing piece of engineering with a very high dynamic range. A camera sensor doesn’t even come close to this marvel of nature. Hence, what you see is not always what you get when you release that shutter. Setting the camera right and composing an image is controlled by the photographer. But saving the scene as an image is controlled by an algorithm on the camera. This is why images look different than what you actually see.

Very often, there are objects in the scene which are distracting and take away focus from the main subject. You may also want to bring out objects which are in shadows or reduce highlights or adjust the hue and saturation to enhance the picture.

Hence, editing pictures is as important as composing and clicking them.

Editing

Here is an example of an image before and after editing. The objective here was to show the sun rays through the clouds falling on the hill top. The objects in the foreground are not important to the subject and hence their shadows have been reduced.

1. The white balance / temperature was changed to a warmer colour
2. Exposure was reduced to bring out the shapes of the clouds
3. Contrast was increased
4. Saturation was increased very slightly
5. Finally Levels and Curves were used to get the final effect

The composition remaining same, which picture would you say is better and has more drama?

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