Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Editing & Processing

Posted: March 31, 2014 in Uncategorized
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To edit or not to edit, that is the question.  And it’s a question that for me, until recently, had only one answer:  No, the photo should be able to stand on its own.

But after participating for a time in Sally’s weekly challenge, I began to change my mind and also to realize that the spectacular photos I saw, the ones I’d love to hang on my wall, were likely edited.  I began to experiment just a bit.  Was a photo of a beautiful place taken in less-than-marvelous light?  I could fix that and convey what it really looked like.  Did someone or something slip into the perfect shot just as I took it.  I could humanely remove them from my finished product.  Did I want to just have fun with a photo and come up with something wild and crazy.  Editing was the way to go.  I began not only to use editing but to enjoy it.

The official challenge this week, the elusive fifth Monday, is “Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.”  And the themes for Week Four are ” Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel). (Animals and Objects are themes.)”  Got all that?  Don’t worry; only the title is long and complicated.

We’re all familiar with using editing to enhance colors, add drama, add a frame and a copyright.  My gallery this week shows how editing literally gave me shots I didn’t know I had, something from nothing.  I took some indoor photos with my iPad, hoping against hope that they would turn out to look like what I saw and wanted to convey.  I ended with a group of photos that looked mostly like this (and some worse):


Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled.  But I kept them for some reason and a month or so ago, I decided to apply Picasa 3 to them and see what happened.  To say I was amazed was an understatement!  By applying a variety of editing tools, I came up with photos I absolutely love.  I didn’t write down what I applied and to find out now, I’d have to reverse-edit, then do it all over again.  So I’m not going to do that.  But I think you’ll agree that the results are a big improvement on the what I thought was in the original!  I apologize for so many photos, but I wanted to give you a good idea of what can be done from virtually nothing by using editing judiciously.








And this is what was actually where I was shooting…


So I say unto you:  Go forth.  Take photos, hopefully good photos.  Then edit and enjoy.  Or not.

  1. Yes, I agree. I’ve always been a minimalist at editing. BUT when one finds the right sleight of hand, it is a treasure. I like the first and fourth ones. Each have an oriental quality that stands above the rest. Happy Photo Challenge.

    • Thanks, Sally. The Oriental quality is one I was looking for in the original and I was so glad to see I could get something out of almost nothing to achieve it.


  2. Dawn says:

    Agreed – I do minimal editing, but sometimes it’s nice to be given permission to edit away – play and create. These are fun images.

  3. Janet, I enjoy your experiments. In this batch, I especially like the sepia-yellow ones. Very pretty. They would make a great-looking dress pattern. A 1920s lightweight, maxi-frock! T. (Keep on experimenting!)

    • Yum! Sounds lovely. I think some of them have a very Oriental feel and might go well with a haiku. Hmmm, the idea light bulb just went on above my head. Now to come up with a haiku. 🙂 Thanks!


  4. I was like you, I thought that a photo should be as is with the exception of cropping, until 2 weeks ago when I started experimenting. I love what you were able to do with one photo! 🙂

  5. The editing gives a surreal quality to them. I love all the photos. 😀

  6. I started out as a painter and enjoy tinkering with photos. You are right – some of the Ooops images can turn out amazing – especially if you can get the brain to let go of the actual image and let if morph a bit.
    Cool pix

  7. I’ve done very little editing for the most part but I find that when I’ve done some unusual editing, I’ve had so much fun with it! Love what you did here! 🙂

  8. Suzanne says:

    Some interesting effects here. I particularly like the second one.

    • Suzanne, thanks for stopping by and commenting. That one has a very dramatic feel, I think. But it’s interesting how each has a different feel.


  9. Amy says:

    I like these effects! Especially like the third one.

  10. FireBonnet says:

    I have trouble picking a favorite of them… perhaps the second one, that one almost reminds me of an oil painting. You mentioned trying on apps can be ‘another’ time consumer… YES! lol I’ve started to make notes of which app I used and which effects on the app etc, since I may actually want to recreate it! That would save time!

    • That’s a good idea, Meghan, but I haven’t done it yet. So many good ideas, so little time. 🙂 The thing is that even the same combination of apps will, on a different photo, turn out quite differently. But it’s always fun trying to get just the right combination.


      • FireBonnet says:

        That is sooooo true! But perhaps on similar subjects or color combinations (as in strong color flower images) you’d have a place to start.

  11. Angeline M says:

    Lovely outcomes! I too initially did not want to edit anything, but have changed my way of thinking as a few years have gone by since I started taking photography a little more seriously. I like to edit, tweak, make small changes to enhance, but still chafe at super processing that makes a huge change from what I saw when I took the photo. That being said, I am attracted to your fourth and fifth photos above, and think they are beautiful.

  12. You outdid yourself I like the red image!

    • Thanks very much, Carol. I love the very different effects! It was lots of fun and I was glad to have something good come from what I thought were almost completely black photos.


  13. It’s all in the artist’s eye. I’m a big fan of not making rules, so while I also try not to edit my photos too much, I certainly am not afraid to push the envelope if I think it will make for a more compelling image. I love your free spirit, not to mention incredible vision for still finding something beautiful in a shot that I know I would have instantly deleted without a second though. If that doesn’t prove that there’s art in everything, I don’t know what would!

  14. Emilio Pasquale says:

    Janet, I don’t understand why there is any kind of discussion on this- and I don’t mean from you. I wrestled with this same question when I first bought my dslr. But my Canon has controls on it for all kinds of set ups: portrait (softer colors), landscape (more blue); and white balance: shade, daylight, cloudy, etc. (you get the idea). These all add different color tones to the image. Isn’t that- in a sense- editing? In camera, yes, but still you are manipulating the image. In the film days just the selection of Fuji over Kodak was manipulating the image. Then there are lenses and filters to choose. And don’t tell me Ansel Adams did not do any post processing. He’s admitted to dodging and burning his b & w images. No one should question why we do what we do. The camera can never see what the eye sees.

    The defense rests!

    • The defense did well. The jury is convinced as am I. Although I still always want my initial photo to stand on its own merits, as does every photographer, I’m sure.