How much photo editing is too much in landscape photography?


posted Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 8:00 AM EST


When it comes to photography and landscape photography in particular, how much editing is too much? Is there such a thing as processing an image too much? This is the topic in photographer Attilio Ruffo's latest video.

For landscape photographers, it's not unusual to receive a question that goes something like this, "how much did you edit this image?" Sometimes it's a simple curiosity, other times it's the beginning of an interaction that ultimately ends with someone thinking that your image is unrealistic and perhaps bad because of it. For Ruffo, this annoys him because he doesn't think that it really matters and is missing the point of landscape photography. How much you edit an image is a very personal topic. It's an artistic decision and therefore, it's a subjective one informed by your own ideas and experiences. "The only thing that matters to me is that the result is pleasing my eyes," Ruffo says in the video below, expressing the idea that when you are making images for yourself, your primary concern should be with how you view and feel about your work.

This is a topic which resonates strongly with me. My views on what I want my own work to look like have changed over time too as I grow as a person and a photographer. I can look back at some of my images from a decade ago and I think that if I could make that image again, I'd do things differently not only in camera, but particularly with how I edited the image. At the end of the day, I don't think there's such a thing as too much editing with landscape photography. Whether you like your images best straight from the camera or if you are at the other extreme and process each image for hours on end and create something that is not an accurate depiction of the scene you photographed, as long as you are happy with it, then you haven't done too little or too much.

(Via Attilio Ruffo