In today’s digital world, platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, etc. have greatly broadened photography. Now that nearly everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, almost anyone can be their own decent photographer. DSLR and Mirrorless cameras are frequently used today as well for the ones who take their craft more seriously.
Photographs are everywhere because you can endlessly snap, snap, snap about your favorite moments in life, and we are constantly scrolling through liking, and sharing them through these social platforms. On top of that, there is access to thousands of different programs and applications in which you can enhance your photos easily. Adjust the exposure, contrast, depth, crop the edges, or even just slap on filters for unique effects.
At the end of the day, however, we must step back and ask ourselves, “what’s it all for?”
Whether you are someone who is serious about photography, or your just someone who simply strives to have the coolest Instagram feed, here are some reasons why you should consider capturing the moment and leaving the moment “untouched”.
Relying on your own capturing skills
When you rely heavily on editing your photographs to make them look good, may start to become lazy when it comes to actually taking the photos. You’re less worried about bad lighting, angles, or focus because you plan to adjust all of it later. And while that seems easier to do, it takes away from the actual photos themselves.
For a serious photographer, this might not help develop your photographic craft. Of course, it’s great to use editing to create your own style, but having the basic ability to use your own knowledge and artistic eye to capture the right photo in the moment might be what really makes you a great photographer, and sets you apart from someone who just likes to “point-and-shoot”.
I mean really though, wouldn't it be nice to be able to say your photos are "unedited"? When someone asks "What filter did you use?" you can proudly say, "None!". Isn't it more impressive when you're capable of getting the right shot without the help of editing?
Keeping The Element of Realism
As the kids may say these days: “keep it real”. When you take out all that time to adjust your photos to just how you want it with filtering and retouching, you may lose the “realness” of your photos. And yes of course, if you're doing that on purpose, go right ahead. But consider the artistic value of the subjects in the photos themselves, and realize that life itself in its natural state is a wonder of beauty. Also, keep in mind that what you're capturing is a moment in time- a small fragment of life. And that moment will come to life much more when it is left untouched.
Focusing On What's Really Important
Like I said previously, when photographing, you are capturing a moment. So don't pollute that moment with harshly contrasted filters. Instead, appreciate the image as it is, even if it has flaws. If you're like me, then you'll want to be able to look back on past photos and be able to remember that moment as it was and feel like you're there again.
Sometimes the best photos are the ones taken for the sake of the subjects within the image, and those subjects tend to be best represented in their natural state. So instead of snap, snap, snapping away, try to really take in what you're photographing and find the purpose of it.
And hey, so what if that photograph you took of your best friend laughing is a little out of focus? Maybe you were laughing too and couldn't hold your camera steady. That is still part of the moment and should be cherished instead of "edited".
So I encourage you (unless you plan to be the greatest photoshopper ever) to go out shoot for the sake of memories, and the beauty of life itself. I think you may find greater satisfaction it that than enhancing your photos to "perfection".