(Photo Credit By Caio)

Does Editing Images Violate The Rules Of Photography?

Photography Is A Skill

I sometimes hear people say that photography is a skill that becomes a talent that is much sought after. I agree with that because not all people are experts when it comes to photography. There is a skill involved with composing and exposing an image as much as just clicking the camera. A true photographer understands the lighting as well and is able to produce clear, sharp and properly focused images that the average person will have trouble doing.

Photography is a skill that requires understanding how to create images, edited or non-edited (Photo Credit By cottonbro)

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

An image or still in photography, can convey many messages to the viewer. The purist among photographers wants to preserve what they have captured through film in a very subtle way. What this represents is the moment the image was captured in reality, so it should not be modified in any digital or analog way. That is exactly what you want to represent the authenticity in an image.

A photo of a tiger that represents what a tiger is supposed to look like. No special effects or additional editing is needed (Photo Credit By Pixabay)
A before (left) and after (right) portrait retouch (Source PortraitPro)

When Editing Is Necessary

When capturing images for an accurate and genuine representation, there is no need to edit. The purpose for editing is when it comes to commercial photography. When taking the best photos to get the best impressions, an edited image appears to be the one that gets the most attention (good and bad). This is good for advertising and marketing purposes since it helps sell products and services.

In beauty photography work, some retouching is required to enhance details like color, contrast and luminance (Photo Credit By Vincent Tabora)
In commercial photography, editing the image is often required (Photo Credit By Andrea Piacquadio)

Red Flags For Editing

The more controversial part of editing is when it is done in a manner that offends people. This seems to happen a lot with public figures since they are noticeable. Some celebrities have been accused of altering their image to unrealistic proportions, thanks to image editing software i.e. Photoshop. This is when the result is the least flattering to viewers. What is offensive is more with the manner the image was retouched. Otherwise it would not be much of an issue if the image was edited but with a natural look.

The Apple iPhone “Beautygate” scandal (Source Unboxed Therapy)


Editing an image is not a general violation of any rule in photography. It only violates rules when it doesn’t meet its specific purpose. People can do what they want, but there are consequences. When the editing is done properly, it should be fine. If the image needs to be kept in its original form, then no editing is necessary. Editing is more for commercial work that involves a creative process for ads, editorials, digital art and promotions.



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Vincent Tabora

Editor HD-PRO, DevOps Trusterras (Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Software Development, Engineering, Photography, Technology)