What is "Digital Image Processing" and why is it important?

The images you see alternating on this page are

processed and unprocessed versions of the very same file.

Many people think that with today's sophisticated digital cameras the photographic process is over when the photographer presses the shutter button.

Nothing could be further from the truth; in fact, pressing the shutter button is just the first ( and easiest) step.

Today's top line digital cameras capture an immense amount of information and store it in what is called their "Raw" capture file. That Raw file contains so much information that no output device is capable of displaying it all, so the Raw file must be processed through Photoshop (or similar software) in order to optimize the image for viewing and/or for print. Think of it as the difference between looking at a stenographer's shorthand notes and reading the full text once the shorthand has been "processed."

Expert processing can make a good file look great, but inexpert processing can make a great file look awful. In a perfect world, the photographer should also be an expert at processing Raw files, since the processor is the person who actually determines what the final image will look like, and only the photographer knows what they "saw" in their mind when they created that digital file.

It stands to reason, then, that it takes the photographer to process that digital file in such a way that the final output comes as close as possible to what the photographer had in mind at the moment of creation. I personally process every file that ends up in my clients' hands.

Enter your search terms below.