Wow…i’ve just reformed my thoughts and ideas on photography! Until 10 minutes ago i would have laid a solid argument with anyone that photos should not be altered – that a photograph is what the camera spits out, and altering it on a computer is fraud, illegal and terrible! However, after having a quick play with Picasa (new window) i’ve realised that infact, some slight editting can be hugely useful to allow the viewer to see what the photo was really about.

For a quick example, i’ll use the photo i was just looking at…
Monks Walking, without soft focus
In this picture, i was trying to capture the monks walking up the road on their way to lunch. There were hundreds of them and it was quite a sight…very few taking any form of transport…and there was no pavement on the road. However, the background is too prominent and the eye wanders to the white car and to other ‘distractions’, losing the emphasis.

Monks Walking, with soft focus
By adding a soft focus, i keep the monks in sharp detail, and blur the background slightly. This causes the eye to naturally look at the monks, without the distraction of the background. You still notice the scene and the cars etc, but it’s not as prominent and not as ‘sore’ on the eye.

Now, this would be a fine time to say to some people (Callum (new window) and Suzy) that they were partly right to argue with me about my old view that you should not touch a photo. However, i did say that i understood both views, just that i currently held that one. I now since realise some editting can enhance the photo and not necessarily turn it into a computer generated image. However, i would love to say that i was wrong to Suzy in particular…but since she stopped reading my blog in favour of The Guardian (new window), well there wouldn’t be much point. Oh that and…Suzy…if you let me know i’d be happy to give you a tenner…oh well…pity you won’t see this… :-p

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