Too far?

On the left, the un-retouched photo of the snow covered trees through window.

On the right, (a crop of ) the version I posted, modified with these adjustments:

1. Shadow and hilights: dark parts brightened, light parts darked
2. Lens correction: perspective and curvature
3. Background stretched: to fit into format (keeping integrity of window proportions)
4. Slight rotation

I don’t feel too much guilt about this, but there is some. I don’t go this far very often. A goal is certianly to improve my process to minimize or eliminate “fiddlin.”

For the web, for different monitors, and for the aspect ratio, I think the adjustments work okay. It’s also an experiment, understanding the tools available.

But there’s something about the original that seems to be lost.


  1. As far as quality, you did a great job with the retouching. However, the original contrast of shadow to light makes you want to step forward and look out the window–to get a closer view. When you remove the shadow, it doesn’t have that effect. Perhaps it would look more intriguing with retouching in the opposite way — making the edges of the photo darker to emphasize the light coming in the window? Just a thought — love your work as always.

  2. Heather brings up some good points.
    I would say not to worry about it. I concern myself with photographic integrity as part of my work (I’m a freelance journalist), but I take more liberty on my website. As long as you aren’t making any claims as to the authenticity of the photos, you’re fine.

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