Why I don’t like you butchering my photos


Perhaps butchering is a harsh word. Not all people butcher, but there is a huge tendency to crop and edit. When I say edit I really mean add Instagram filters or other various phone app effects to my shots.

Look. I understand that Instagram and facey profile pics are square, so some amount of cropping will happen. There are ways around that, such as the ‘squarerea
dy’ app which makes them square without making them square. But that’s extra phone tapping and not all of us can be bothered with that. So there is some leniency there of course.

You may be sitting there rolling your eyes of huffing and puffing, and perhaps even saying ‘it’s just a photo, get over it’ and it probably is just a photo to you. But bear in mind that a lot can go into a photo. It’s not just a case of clicking the button and uploading it to Facebook. I’m sure I can speak for most photographers out there and say that a lot of time and effort goes into the before, during and after of photographing an event or whatever it is they are photographing.

I’ve spent a lot of time learning about my camera, the way different lenses work and their quirks. What are the best exposure combinations to use to shoot a particular sunset, aurora, fight event or bug on a tree. What are the best angles to get the shot I am after and how best to do it without bothering the people around me.

Once the images are on your hard drive it doesn’t finish. There is sorting to be done, chucking out the ones that don’t make the cut and then ‘developing’ the ones that do. Some people believe that you don’t develop digital images, and that you shouldn’t need to edit a good photo. That’s a whole different debate, but I’ll just quickly say that editing a shot on post processing software is the same as editing your shot in the dark room. Obviously a little bit different, but effectively the same.

I put a lot of time into editing my shots. And it’s something I’m forever learning and refining. Photography is an art. Just as painting is an art. Would you buy a monet’s waterlillies and then decide the flowers should be pink instead of white so paint over them? And No I’m not comparing my photography to Monet. I’m just emphasising my point. I make my images appear how I want them to appear, how I believe they look their best, so I get a little irritated when people go and chuck an Instagram filter on it. And nine times out of ten the filter looks terrible and I am credited to a photo that looks terrible, which makes me a bit cranky.

So next time you are going to repost a photograph taken by someone else try and remember the time and effort that went into creating it.

I love it when people share my work, all I ask is they don’t crop out my watermark, and don’t alter the image, so it appears how it was intended too…

The reason for this post is not to have a go at anyone. I’ve had a few people lately edit and crop my shots, so I just hope this explains a little bit as to why I ask you not too.

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