Is It Cheating?

A lot of people ask me if I “enhance” my photos.  And when they ask, they always have that same look… that, are your photos fake, look.  In a word… of course I do. Okay then, in four words.  I wouldn’t want to display my photos to the world in their naked, RAW, format so of course I enhance them. Is it cheating?  Let me explain and then you decide.

When I shoot a photo I don’t use any of the camera’s fancy enhancement settings because I choose to do the enhancing myself.  I shoot in what is called RAW format. If I were to shoot a photo in JPG or TIF format I would be letting the techies at Canon Inc. decide how much colour, contrast, and sharpness etc., my photo should have and, to be honest, I don’t think I want someone else deciding those things for me.  So yeah, I enhance my photos.

Here is an example of a RAW image. (converted to JPG for the web)


This is the same image after I have done my own enhancements to it.


With cameras capabilities being what they are today, the photographer is left to use their creative talents to compose and, yes, enhance.  Otherwise they’re just snapshots.


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3 Responses to “Is It Cheating?”

  1. Stephen Says:

    Absolutely. I’ve never understood the argument that the camera is the be all and end all. You create an image based on how you seen it and what you felt at that time, not how the camera seen it with all it’s technical limitations. I was at a presentation last week and the photographer was heckled because he made adjustments.

    Digital sometimes gets a bad reputation but film was also ‘enhanced’ with different processes.

    I don’t think there is a wrong answer, but I’m with you. We’re painting with light – regardless of the tools we use – either it be hardware or software – we use what is available to reproduce a vision.

  2. Sonny's Pics Says:

    Ansel Adams once said, “You don’t take photographs, you make them”.

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