Photo Enhancement: The Difference Between Photo Editing, Retouching and Manipulation

Nowadays, the role of digital photography is crucial for any business. Professionally edited photographs and images represent the brand’s character to help build brand distinctiveness. This makes photo editing, retouching and manipulation, a vital part of marketing, communication and branding activities.

This is the primary reason why photo editing is one of the most outsourced practices in the industry. Today, we would like to create a distinction between photo editing, photo retouching, and photo manipulation.

Photo Editing

Photo Editing is the basic. It’s all about editing great photos using the right photo editing procedure. Every raw picture must be edited. After doing initial scrap, every remaining file should get some adjustments, usually done in Lightroom. This is to ensure the white balance and the exposure is right, and that there should be a basic white and basic black in the highlights and also in the shadows. In some other photos if needed, may even need to do a little sharpening and cropping.

Photo Retouching

Photo retouching goes a step beyond editing/adjustment. In a portrait photo, you need to make the skin smooth, reduce or eliminate lines and wrinkles, remove glasses glare, even remove some stray hairs. These processes can be done in a Lightroom but some experts prefer to use Photoshop or Elements. Currently, there are many other software and programs out there that can do the job but most of retouchers will use Adobe. One of the greatest things about digital is that all these things can be done so flawlessly as to be invisible.

Photo Manipulation

Photo Manipulation is where you start actually making changes to the original file. This is where you remove offending light standards or fire plugs, maybe add a bird into an empty sky, or even go in and change an entire background. Some editors do a few “face swaps” to open eyes or just get a better expression. To do photo manipulation requires the power of Photoshop or something similar that offers layers and pixel-level editing.

Do you outsource your editing? What have you done with your extra time? If you want to give Outsourcing a try, give us a call.

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