Should I edit my photos?
I am not a photographer. However I like thinking that I can take a good photograph.
When I am visiting somewhere I try to be more conscious of the photos I take. I try and look for something interesting and think about how to compose the photo. And then my ability kicks in and looking at the photograph it doesn't present what I have seen.
I have long held that the photos I have taken should not be edited - they should be the originals - apart from correcting the rotation if it has got it wrong for some reason.
Recently I have been playing around with Luminar Neo and I am changing my views on this. It is an AI powered application that makes it easy to improve photographs in a few clicks - even for complete novices like me.
As an example, here is a photograph I took of HMS Belfast in London. As photos go, it is okay. The sky was grey and so it was not ideal conditions to work with.
Bringing this into Neo I made a few simple changes. I was able to change the sky from a dull grey sky to a blue sky with white clouds in one simple operation. Next I tweaked the lighting, adjusting the exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows. The structure tool uses AI to add more detail and depth to the photograph. The dramatic tool lowers the saturation and contrast. The erase and clone tools were used to remove parts of the photograph that were not needed and may draw the eye. Lastly the colour tool with masking was used to increase the redness of some of the features on the ship. Here is the photograph afterwards.
This editing took less than ten minutes (most of that doing the erasure of elements) and I am sure even better results could be achieved with more time.