When it comes to finishing pictures (call it “finishing”, not “editing”) I adhere to a few rules.

  • If it is news, only changes in colour, exposure and crop are allowed.
  • If it is art, anything is allowed, but that said, I do the minimum.
  • If it is portrait work, I am happy to lessen shadows, to lessen contrast in skin tones, and to lessen permanent blemishes, and I am OK with removing temporary blemishes such as pimples. But I do not remove permanent blemishes.

That last one is important. Read it carefully, and you see that I do not want to change people into what they are not. Not like this (and I have nothing against this particular software, I do not doubt that it is wonderful, but I really, really dislike this kind of advert):


“It does wonders to my pictures”? That means that either the photographer does not know how to light them properly, or she makes everyone into some kind of plastic thing that they are not.

And I think that this shows a lack of respect for the person. Like saying “you are too ugly to display as you are; we have to fix you first”. It also gives young women and men the idea that they do not meet society’s beauty requirements.


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