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Michael Wright has a great question about editing and how and when (and if) editing is actually destructive to your images.

Here’s Michaels’s question:

“I was wondering if you could explain how editing is PS or other software can be “destructive.”  Most people create a copy of the original to save the original.  I myself….have not really every seen the destructive effects. Do certain tools or processes cause more destruction than others?  Does opening and closing a file cause destruction?  I am wondering if my eyes are going bad since I can’t recall ever seeing a degraded photo.  Thx!”

This is something that we have to consider from two angles.

The first is what “destructive” editing means in reference to how the software handles and saves the edited photo, and the second is how the editing tools within any software can impact and change the quality of your image.

Generally speaking, “destructive” editing refers to software that overwrites the new/changed image data over the original/opened file.

It’s considered destructive because once the image file is opened into the software, changed via the software’s editing tools, and then saved, the original file is overwritten.

Being overwritten with the new edited data, the original is “destroyed” and cannot be recovered.

This is different from the issue of whether or not the tools you use within the software will degrade your image quality, and the bottom line is that any change you make to your image in some small degree degrades and changes your image.

However that’s not a bad thing, so check out the video to get the full rundown of what is and isn’t destructive and how editing can degrade your images.

Lightroom is a powerful photography tool, but the problem with powerful tools is they’re often complicated and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you want to learn how to use Lightroom to quickly and efficiently manage and edit your photos so that they look as amazing as you envision them, check out my Mastering Lightroom Video Course.