Hey Lightroom Lovers! Today I want to take just a few minutes to talk about some terms that some readers have gotten mixed up on or wondered about. Let’s talk for a second about the differences between editing and retouching our images.
One quick note: I’m not an authority, or the author of the Lightroom and photographer’s dictionary. 🙂 Terms can mean different things to different people, and that’s fine by me.
Editing is what this blog mostly focuses on. I think of editing as handling and culling our images, applying things like tags, labels, flags, and even up to the stage of applying “whole image” adjustments like we do in the Develop module.
Controls like exposure, contrast, highlights, and more are part of what I consider the “editing” proces.
Retouching is what I think of as spot adjustments. If you’re working on touching up blemishes, softening skin, or whitening teeth, then I would consider you to be in the retouching stage.
Although a lot of my heavy retouching work is done in Photoshop, although Lightroom has some spot retouch tools that can be made with the adjustment brush, such as the iris enhance brush.
The problem is that these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. I’ve gotten into hot water before when clients have asked me for “editing” and I’ve returned images that are edited, but might not have the level of skin softening that they were looking for. (This is an important reason to make sure and set client expectations from the get-go, but that’s another story for another day. :D)
Do you disagree with the definitions that I use? Do you ever get into mixups about which is which or have your own terms? Go ahead and share in the comments.