Some call it editing, some tweaking, and some, like me, we call it post processing (Pp).
As the name suggests, here we deal with the photos once they have already been taken. Blown highlights, deep shadows, details not enough, or plain need of some special effects, they all get sorted out right here. Do not be in the illusion that the pro photographers do not post process their photos, or that if you tweak them, you lack skill. There is nothing wrong, rather, post processing is one of the necessary parts of photography I would say.
Pp constitutes of absolutely everything thats being done to make the photo look better. But be advised, I feel it to be ethically correct that during Pp, the original photo should not be distorted. Put in the effects, change the contrast, change the color, go on, but do not add or delete details from the photo, thats my policy, but then again, ideas and outlook does vary.
While Pp, the big question comes up, how much available data is there for us to do the manipulations. This is where, the format wars, RAW vs JPG begins. In the film camera era, there was just one output from the camera and that was the negative. How you process the photo depended on how you treated the negative, partial prints, superpositions, etc…In the similar terms, we can call the RAW format as the negative while the JPG format being the actual print. There is not much flexibility regarding how much data we can pull and manipulate from the JPG format photos, while the RAW ones, are much bigger files and contain more data, hence, more options.
Pp has its side effects too. It makes the photographer complacent and careless at times, because, at the back of the head, the knowledge that the issues can be fixed is always there. Some people I know, they believe on taking the photo correctly in terms of the composition and aesthetics only. This is necessary, because in the end, how the photo looks matters the most. But, being technically correct also is essential. The more you manipulate a photo, the more noise or grain you will introduce to the photo. The quality degrades. So, the way I see it, take the photo as close to as how you would want the end product to be, little variations in the levels, let the post processing handle them.
Check out the photos underneath, they have been post processed on mobile apps…and yeah, these all are using cellphone cameras! Special thanks to my dear friend Miss R. Raja for putting up an awesome display pic in her account which I have borrowed for my tweaking. The original photo is her property and she has the rights to it.