Photography has always been a two-step process – the first step is to capture the image as best as possible in-camera at point of shoot and the second is to polish and refine it by bringing forward or knocking back elements within the shot using the darkroom or software.
My approach has always been a simple one – I often refine an image after shooting by slightly reworking the composition with a well-thought-through crop. Using the crop tool I will remove elements that I could not remove from the frame during shooting, or use it to bring more balance to a shot. Cropping is by far the most important tool that I will deploy during the editing process as it gives me a “second chance” to take the shot.
I try my best to use minimum manipulation and will mostly just apply some dodging and burning (Local contrast adjustments) to bring out details and textures as well as using curves and colour correction with some additional sharpening. Having started life as a photographer in the darkroom, I still find these techniques and approaches continue to serve me well even when translated into digital software.