I’ve been having a great time tinkering with my new Lightroom 3 photo editing software and working some editing magic on my photos.  However, it’s gotten me thinking about the future of photography.

Here are some before and afters of what photo editing can do:

No Bake Toffee & Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls


No Bake Toffee & Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls before editing


No Bake Toffee & Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls after editingGot accepted into Foodgawker!


And spunking up the Cinnamon Sugar & Ginger Roasted Potato Sticks with editing


Cinnamon Sugar & Ginger Roasted Potato Sticks before editing


Cinnamon Sugar & Ginger Roasted Potato Sticks after editing

And from my earlier recipe post with these Cinnamon Sugar  & Ginger Roasted Potato Sticks, thanks for letting me know you liked the looks of them and for filling me in on how you like your taters.  Lots of you said you like sweet potatoes.


And brightening up Raw Pasta Salad with Creamy Lemon & Herb Dressing


Raw Pasta Salad with Creamy Lemon & Herb Dressing before editing


Raw Pasta Salad with Creamy Lemon & Herb Dressing after editing

And this picture made it into Foodgawker! I resubmitted it, and they took it!

So that’s two pictures now that I have edited and were accepted on the second go-roundSame composition, just some brightening, tweaking, and editing. I am now a Lightroom believer.


However, all of this has me wondering what will become of the future of photography.  More on that below.

But first, dessert: Vegan Fudge (No-Bake, Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free)

Close up of Vegan FudgeIt just happens to be vegan.  It just happens to taste amazing, too.


1. I’ve been thinking about how photo editing can effect the future of photography.

When I was growing up, looking at pictures in an album was a physical record of a snapshot in time of something I saw that really existed.  It was not a stylized or “airbrused” or edited version of something that really existed.  What the pictures showed is what existed or happened.  What you see is what you get.  Those 1982 Poloraid shots don’t lie.  Nothing edited about those.

Nowadays, what you see is maybe what you get.

Maybe not what you get, at all.

Or maybe a really stretched truth or version of the truth.

In this post, the food I made was all real.   It all existed.  It looked much better in person than it did in my Before shots.

The After shots make the food appear on the screen much closer to what it looked like on my table. And this is why I like photo editing; because it brings back the vibrance, clarity, and beauty that really was present and existed in real life and to the eye, but that isn’t always present or captured properly on camera and thus on-screen or in prints.

However, it is entirely possible to make the food look nothing like what I saw on my table.  Or to take editing way too far.

And you can take this example and apply it to a person’s nose, cellulite, smile, the wrinkles on their shirt, or the color of their eyes.  Everything can be manipulated, and quite far.

Do you think we will one day enter an age where you don’t even know if the photos you’re looking at are “real”?  Or that they’ve been edited to such a degree it’s impossible to tell what things or the person really looked like?

2. Can you imagine how different models or celebrities in magazines look when edited or not?  Would you like to see them un-edited?

My food before and afters go to show you, don’t believe everything you see.  Editing works wonders.  On potatoes, salads, desserts, zits, lumps, bumps, and everything else.

It does sometimes feel a bit like “trickery” when you see these women and they are just too perfect in their photos in magazine or online.  We know intellectually that the photos have been edited after already spending half a day in hair and makeup.  But, I always wonder what they look like after they roll out of bed, or go to the gym, or even just walking down the street normally.  I wish we could see those pictures, too.  Oh wait, that’s what the papparzzi is for.

This Site has 20 great examples and is the source for these photos.

Then again, I don’t mind seeing glossy, airbrushed, edited photos, either.  They are usually beautiful, but I know they aren’t real and that the woman doesn’t really look like that, and that’s fine.  I look at photos like this as art. That they are a representation of what the person looks like, but is not actually just a carbon copy snapshot.  Photography as art and artistry.

However, many women are not able to realize when they look at certain photos that Suzy Q Celebrity really doesn’t have a 22 inch waist with no zits and perfect hair.  She has a 32 inch waist, blackheads and zits, and her hair is full of split ends.

I think as long as we realize that whatever we see is most likely manipulated, to some degree, and you “keep your head screwed on straight about it” (to use my grandma’s expression) you’ll be fine.  But when you’re 14, you don’t know this or can’t rationalize this.  And some women who are 24 or 44 still haven’t learned this and that’s when it can get a little dangerous because all kind of comparisons and self-doubt can occur.

What are your thoughts on photo editing and manipulation?  Do you fall prey to thinking that models or celebrities in magazines really look the way they appear in photos? That even though you “know” they really don’t look like that, you just can’t help yourself and fall for it? I would say most women fall into this category.

Tell me your thoughts on it all!

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