Should You Manipulate Your Landscape Images?

Photo editing software has granted us powers that were beyond our imaginations a little over a decade ago. No matter how much try to “fix it in post” though, bad light is bad light — let me elaborate.I’d like to preface this with saying that I don’t have any issue heavy manipulation of an image, nor with compositing, as long as the creator is up front about it. Why do I think they should be honest about how they came to their final image? Bear with me — I’ll get to that in a bit.How Much Editing is Too Much?This can be quite a touchy subject and peoples’ opinions vary wildly, but let me try to make it simple — it depends on the intended audience. Is it for an advert? If that’s the case then — depending on the brief and resources of the client — they might be using an agency to hire a retoucher. Said retoucher could be told to throw the handle after the hatchet and turn the sky black and the mountains tartan. Or, are you documenting an area for a newspaper? Then, most likely, very little editing beyond contrast adjustments is called for. Now that I’ve outlined the extremes, I’d like to get to the areas that most of us can relate to.Despite the above paragraph, all of this can apply as much to amateurs as it does to professionals. So if you’re an amateur or hobbyist, stay with me for a while — I think you’ll find this valuable. long exposure landscape photo taken on a beach at sunset with mountains in the distance and dramatic light under dark, moody skies

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