How digital cameras work & why retouching is almost always necessary

Photo enhancement is everywhere. Nearly every image you see online, in print and in media have been manipulated in some way. From removing red eye, brightening your photo or even completely removing unwanted subjects are forms of editing or post production. 

Cameras vary in sophistication and range from mobile phones to Digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex). Cameras today have a built in processing system that do a small amount of photo correction which then compresses the image. However, unless the camera is manually selected to take .raw images, the images taken are compressed automatically by a default setting. 
The compression allows for faster camera speed, some degree of 'post production' and more storage space on the memory card. But, while the system works well for snaps, it is rare for an image not to benefit from postproduction of any kind.

This involves adjusting the image using a computer with specialist software and the talent of a skilled photo editor.
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Colour correction: Most cameras have a nasty habit of making up their own minds about the colour hue and strength (saturation) of the image. Sometimes it's spot on. Often it's not, and the image needs correction.

Exposure correction: Again, this is normally down to your camera and the settings you have used to capture the image. If you take the picture in automatic, the camera does the work the best it can. But in non ideal conditions, (and how often are conditions ideal?) the results needs adjustment in post production.

Sharpening: Your camera will carry out some sharpening of the image as part of its processing activity. But, unless you are a particularly good photographer (or particularly lucky) it is rare that an image doesn't need some element of tweaking.

Straightening: This speaks for itself. Ones of the easiest things to forget when you take a photo is whether the horizon is straight or whether things which are supposed to be upright, are.

Red eye elimination: This happens when you shoot with flash. If you take a picture of a person with a camera with a basic flash, the brilliant light bounces off the back of the retina and produces a reddish hue to the eye.
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Advanced enhancement and digital manipulation: Your imagination is the only limiting factor to what can be done, but examples include:

Colouring / tinting a black & white image: We can transform a black & white image by adding colours to any area. A restored image can also benefit from careful colourisation.

Converting a colour image to black and white: This is very subjective, but the transition can be startling. There is timelessness to black and white photography and some images take on a truly artistic feel. It is no coincidence that some of the world's most memorable images are in black and white.

Cosmetic: We can remove spots or blemishes, smooth skin and wrinkles (or even add them if you want!). Adjust skin tones; alter hair colour or eye colour. Make double chins single, control wayward hair or eyebrows. Straighten/whiten teeth. We can even make you slimmer if you find those holiday shots not as flattering as you'd like.

Creative borders / creative text: borders of all styles can be created around your image. Personalised text or messages can also be added without interfering with the image.

Cropping: This involves removing unwanted fringe areas of a photograph so that the main subject is highlighted. So many pictures are taken with distracting and irrelevant elements, which take your eyes away from the whole purpose of the original shot. Care must be taken not to over crop however. The resolution of the final image diminishes with cropping.

General background removal: All too often a photograph is taken without sufficient care over the composition resulting in an over cluttered image with intrusive and distracting elements taking the eye away from the main subject. A typical example is a tree growing out of someone's head! These problems can be seamlessly eliminated.
Similarly the following options can produce surprising results: Background replacement; object/people removal or addition; lightening/darkening specific areas.

Photo montage/collage: The technique of producing a composite picture by combining several photographs. Special occasions can be celebrated with a creative montage by combining your favorite photos into one.

Restoration: over time, photos can become damaged, faded or even torn. Restoration is the art of repairing photographs back to their former glory. Once an old or damaged photograph is scanned, the level of repair is endless, even faded colours can be restored.