How I’m Learning to Avoid Editing Photos on My Computer

It seems like Apple and the entire web are trying to move photographers towards editing and working off of tablets. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing; but we all know that RAW files are how you can get the most out of the images that you shoot. For what it’s worth though, editing a JPEG is also a very viable option that many photographers do when trying to quickly promote something or get the news out there about something specific.

In the past two years in fact, Iv’e found myself wanting to sit and edit less and less–instead opting to work on the files on my phone or tablet.

Connected Cameras

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony vs Fujifilm comparison (1 of 1)ISO 4001-160 sec at f - 4.0

There are a number of reasons why this has happened but the biggest one has to do with connected cameras. These cameras have WiFi built in and let the photographer shoot and share immediately to their smartphone or tablet. That means that when you shoot you can upload, edit in your favorite app (and there are loads of great ones) and then share it immediately for the world to see a photo for a couple of seconds before moving on to whatever else is in their feed.

Yes, that’s what photography has been reduced to. So with that in mind, why bother? Unless you’re truly creating a genuine work of art or something that is bound to get you loads of money later on, who really cares? It’s such a fleeting moment and a sad reality of the mobile web.

The fact that I can shoot something, port it to my phone, edit right then and there, and blast it out to the web who will pay attention to it for a couple of seconds is really nice. And let’s be honest, that’s most of the work that all of us do. Not every single photo that we take is uber portfolio worthy.

For self promotional sakes, it makes a whole lot of sense too.

Consistency Between Mobile Screens

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer SNAP! Pro iPhone case review images product photos (7 of 8)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 2.8

If I send a photo to someone at an office, their experience on the desktop monitor where they view the image will be different from the desktop monitor in my apartment. It’s also going to be different to the freelancer sitting in a Starbucks editing on their laptop. This is a giant problem for photographers: the visual experience.

However, it’s more or less stabilized with tablets and phones.

Fact: More people are more likely to own the same phone as you than they are to own to same desktop monitor as you. Not everyone owns an iMac, but loads of people own an iPhone or and iPad.

To that end, the visual experience across monitors and the way that they interact with the environment is bound to be more consistent. Further, this means that as I share the photo, everyone else seeing it will also have the same experience.


Chris Gampat The Phoblographer RNI Flashback app lead photo (1 of 1)ISO 5001-40 sec at f - 2.8

Photo editing apps are become more and more plentiful and abundant. To boot, they’re also very good. MuseCam, Lightroom and RNI Films are some of the most powerful editors out there; and lots of photographers love to use SnapSeed. They make your JPEGs look awesome; and if they’re only going on the web, then the editing that they can allow of you is more than good enough.

Editing for the Internet

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer RNI Films chem Engine (7 of 14)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 4.5

Let’s set the facts straight here and also hone in on some of the absolute truths behind this site and all the important facts that we’ve been pushing for years.

You’re not going to upload a full sized photo to the web.

Again, let’s repeat that.

You’re not going to upload a full sized photo to the web.

Instead you’re going to edit, resize and export to make it easier for someone to view and web servers to process. When you upload, servers are just going to downsize the file anyway.

Editing for Print

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Epson Instagram app (1 of 1)ISO 12501-20 sec at f - 2.0

If you’re editing an image for print, then it gets a bit different. You’re going to need to export the full sized photo to your device and then be pretty conservative about the editing process because you’re not editing a RAW file typically. Even so, mobile screens aren’t large enough or advanced enough to make it super easy for you to find all the flaws in a photo. It becomes different here and it’s a minority of the web. But typically, most people shooting for print work with RAW files and that is what I’d recommend.

However, as I’ve been saying through this entire piece, most people shoot and edit just for the internet and we generally need nothing more.

So in the end, it’s really just more practical though we shouldn’t at all hate on editing a RAW. Shoot both if you’d like, but just be real with yourself about the implications and intended final resting place of the photos you shoot.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.