The Digital Photo Guy

Editing Photography Contest Entries

by on Oct.24, 2011, under Articles, Composition, Lightroom, Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing, Photos, Photoshop Elements, Webcast

How Much Is Too Much Editing?

Most photo contest only allow minimum editing including cropping, adjusting levels and sharpening. Cloning and healing are generally not allowed and removing an entire element is definitely verboten.

The San Diego Natural History Museum Best of Nature Photography Show is different in that it’s more of a fund raiser for the museum so pretty much anything goes. With that in mind, I decided to try the following.


The first image is the original and the second is the edited version. Most contests would never allow the edited version but I felt the single landing eagle was more impactful. What do you think? Is this too much editing? Does it change the essence of the photo?

This was made at Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM with a Canon 40D and a 300/2.8 and 2x TC on a Gitzo 3530LS with a Wimberly Sidekick. Exposure was 1/160, f/25, ISO 1600, 0EV. It’s titled The Eagle Has Landed.

This photo will be used in the Wacom tablet webinar this Wednesday, 10/26 from 7 to 7:30PM.


4 Comments for this entry

  • Dick

    Hi Lee,
    I prefer the single eagle version, besides, the eagles has landed doesn’t sound right :~)

    • Lee

      It doesn’t? Sounds to me like the level of English spoken by most recent college grads! 😉 One eagle seems to be the consensus.


  • Betsy

    I do like the concept of the single eagle. But the branch behind it seems to end abruptly. On the other hand, the one bird is watching its friend or campanion come in for a landing. Hows that for equivocation! I am really enjoying your posts lately.

    • Lee

      Thanks for playing Betsy,
      I tried to make the end of the branch less abrupt but I’ll work on thinning it a bit more. Glad you’re enjoying the posts.


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