Saturday, March 23, 2013

To Photoshop or Not to Photoshop?

When I first started blogging, I didn't know that anyone photoshopped; I just figured people had really awesome cameras. The longer I've been blogging, the more I discover just how many photos don't go straight from camera to blog.

Now, editing photos of course comes in a variety of flavors: from cropping and straightening, to tweaking exposure, to blurring and making limbs appear smaller than they are. I generally crop the photos themselves to cut out the background and put more focus on my outfit.

I'm not considering photoshopping the baby fat out of my cheeks (is that even possible?) or giving my thighs liposuction with the click of a button (but boy oh boy, how I would love not to have thunder thighs). I'm just wondering whether I should take that extra step to enhance the colors and exposure of my photos. Does the quality of blog photos affect you and/or your experience?

The main reason I haven't made adjustments to my photos is because I don't have editing software and I have never felt that it is necessary to do so. My photos aren't consistently blurry (huge pet peeve!) and (IMO) there's no need to squint your eyes to figure out what I'm wearing. But am I wrong? Am I a bad blogger for not posting polished photos?


The left photo is the original (cropped) as seen on Wednesday. The right photo is the product of twenty seconds spent playing on iPiccy (thanks to Fran for bringing this to my attention!)  Which picture do you prefer?

Consider another example:

Just kidding.

In all seriousness, what is your take on editing photos? Do you do it? To what extent? Why/why not?


  1. I definitely Photoshop my photos, but 99% of the time it's to edit the lighting or color. There's so much that can go into a photo to make it brighter, or make the details more noticeable, or make it sharper, or just more attention-grabbing. I find no problem with any of those edits. I'll even edit out like, an obnoxious wrinkle or lint on something I forgot to lint-roll. I don't think I'm being dishonest or misleading by doing that. Basically anything other than modifying like, my body. You know? Or the actual color of the clothes I'm wearing. It just doesn't bother me or feel dishonest.

    1. But I should probably add, I was a semi-pro photographer in years past, so I just can't look at any photos I take without asking, "How could this be better, brighter and stand out more?" without going overboard.

  2. Aside from cropping and playing around on ipiccy and picmonkey, we don't really do a whole lot of editing to our photos. What's you see is what you get usually. we just have a regular point and shoot camera, so the quality isn't the greatest anyways no matter how much you try to correct things. I definitely don't try to airbrush zits or make fake tans or anything crazy like that! Heather

  3. Oooh good question. I dabble in photography (I second shoot weddings occasionally), so I look at my outfit photos as a chance to work on my photography. My husband actually takes the photos and then I usually use Photoshop to crop, lighten or sharpen. I also use Photoshop to make my photos the right size for blogging - they come out with really high resolution, which if posted, would use a lot of space and cause my blog to load slowly.

    Alll that to say, I don't think it really matters what you do to your photos as long as you feel comfortable with the face you are putting forward on your blog. Most bloggers aren't changing the structure of their cheekbones or lengthening their legs. I say brighten them if you want to!

    P.S. I use Photoshop because I have it for free through work. Before I used Google's Picassa and it is a really great program!

  4. i like some editing, but not too much. you still want to see the "real" person!

  5. I just use the "Windows Live Photo Gallery editing tool, and mostly just crop my photos. Sometimes I click on the "autoadjust" button, which tends to bring out the colors better, but sometimes it makes everything sort of blue. I don't have a whole lot of experience with photo editing. I will "retouch" sometimes, like a piece of link that I didn't notice, but I wouldn't feel right doing much more than that.

    Plus, I spend enough time blogging, so I don't really want to add extra photo editing into the mix. If I want to do something extra, I have used PicMonkey a few times. I want to try out ipiccy, too. Currently, I just use Powerpoint and the snipping tool when I want to make a collage!

  6. I use Picasa to edit my pictures... I don't do much but I crop them and adjust the light. Sometimes, I do some extra stuff but usually I jsut crop and adjust the light. Picasa is quite easy to use and I don't know how to use photoshop ;)


  7. I use iPhoto to edit my photos. I always crop, take out the red eye, and usually have to adjust the lighting, depending on the time of day I take my photos. I'm not one to edit my body or anything (nor do I know how to do that). Honestly, photo quality isn't a HUGE factor for me in determining what blogs I read. I don't care if you take your photos inside or outside. I don't care if you have your living room wall as the background in all your pictures, or if you are in a new hip place in your city every day. For me, the real focus is on the outfits and the personality of the blogger.

    The only time when I get somewhat snobby about pictures is when people solely post pictures taken from their cell phone in front of their full-length mirror. That really bothers me, for whatever reason.

  8. i definitely crop; in fact, i think more bloggers should crop their pictures, especially if they shot indoors. but it's just my personal preference not to see a lot of "noise" in the background so more of the focus is on the person. i do add a layer of color to all of my pictures, but i really don't think it makes much of an aesthetic difference. i don't examine the pictures people post so acutely that i would be able to tell if it's really been altered in any way. i kind of wish i knew how to alter the lighting for those days where the picture is dark or just doesn't look quite right but i would need someone to teach me those skills!

  9. ha, I like the second version!

    in all seriousness. I use iPhoto to adjust colors - I think it just makes the pictures look better and probably more real life than the original pictures represent. Even if I knew how to, I don't think I would photoshop myself skinnier although I wish I could do that in real life. I think there's a difference between presenting the best possibility of the photo and presenting something fake.

  10. Because my camera isn't a super-duper fancy one (like most bloggers seem to have - or maybe it just seems like that to me) and I was sick of the pictures I had to take inside being so dark that my outfit couldn't be seen, I started editing my pictures a little. A few months into starting my blog, my sister introducted me to Picmonkey, and it usually only takes 2 minutes for each picture - I crop, fix the exposure, and a little more. But I definitely don't try to fix how I actually look, just the quality of the picture. I definitely think it's worth doing, because the quality of the pictures influence people who visit your blog.

  11. Since I use my iphone to take pictures - I do need to adjust the lighting quiet a bit. The colors could look totally different from 1 picture to the next. That's the extent of my finishing my photos. Not very high tech.


  12. i'm a fan of some light editing... not too much though. i want to still post "real life" images... but want them to be clean and sharp. i definitely do some cropping and lighten them up a bit if needed. ps... i nominated your blog for an award today:)

  13. I edit my photos too, but never ever gonna edit my features or anything else ( feel fake ), all I does is the lighting exposure and color :)

  14. I edit my photos too and it is noticeable, since sometimes I add frames to them or mke collages etc. I however do not change EVER how I look, I do not change my features. I may crop extra background and make the outfit the focal point. I also usually do my editing for brightness, contrast and such, nothing else. I use a very simple Panasonic camera which has actually fallen on the floor far too many times and I usually put the camera on some piece of furniture at home - nothing fancy like a Canon, Nikon or Tripod for me. That is why photoshopping is necessary on my part. I SHOULD REALLY INVEST ON A NICE CAMERA, NOW THAT I HAVE A BABY, THOUGH. =)

  15. I do photoshop my pictures, I crop them and apply a filter, and sometimes if there's something that bothers me about the frame I'll fix it (like once there was a sewer cover in the background but was drawing the eye and I hated it, so I removed it). Sometimes I adjust the colors or contrast, and I've done some minor things like remove wrinkles (I don't do it often because it's super hard) or whiten my teeth when they look like they're brown (which is often when I shoot the picture from a lower angle and my teeth are shadowed by my mouth). But to change the way I look? no, that's weird. If I don't like the way I look in a picture, I just won't post it.

    I think a little photoshop/touching up is fine, as long as you don't go overboard with fuzzy borders and blurring and burnt out corners and way too many filters. :)


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