Premium Documentary Project | Module 7 – Image editing and post-processing

Now that you’re done with the fieldwork, it’s time to proceed to the image editing stage, which is the process of choosing the photographs that will be included in the project’s body of work. Magazines have photo editors to do this important task. And if the goal is to come up with a group of images that tell a story, editing a body of work does not necessarily consist in selecting the best photos, but to find the right ones. Frequently, a few images that aren’t aesthetically as pleasing as others, may have an important role, making the transition between two other photos or two chapters of the story.

This is, of course, a subjective matter. Two different editors will certainly make two different choices. But assuming that the editing is done by ourselves, as most of us do, there are some simple guidelines that may help to complete the task:

  • Composition: The elements in the picture have a harmonious relationship between them?
  • Framing: A correct framing will draw attention to the subject and remove from the scene the elements that don’t matter as much. Was the framing satisfactorily achieved directly in the camera? If not, can it be done with a slight crop?
  • Exposure: Is the exposure appropriate? *
  • Focus: Is the photo properly focused? In a portrait, is the focus on the eyes?

If analyzing a certain photo, the answer is yes to all the questions above, it might be a candidate to be selected.


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Co-founder of the Fuji X Passion Project. Travel and documentary photographer from Portugal, using mirrorless cameras since 2012.