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Photo Editing as Therapy (And Some Free Presets for You)

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about acts of photography as acts of self therapy.

First, of course, is the proven fact that getting outside and into nature is beneficial to our soul. Photography allows us to do this, and to create art while we’re out in this beautiful world.

However, during the winter months in the Midwest the clouds hang lower and seemingly darker on our souls. It’s a lot more difficult to get out there and create.

That’s why I’ve taken to the idea of editing as a substitute. Going back and re-editing older photos is, for me at least, a way to re-live being out there. When I’m taking photographs my senses are heightened, especially when I find really interesting fun things to take photos of.

This homestead is one of those places. I can remember the warm, humid air. The birds chirping all around me. The feel of the tall grass on my hands as I walked. The smells of manure from the farm nearby. It all comes back to me when I edit, and whatever dark thoughts I have in the middle of the day seem to melt away.

With this photograph I’ve created multiple versions (above) of the same scene using some presets that I’ve used through the years to emulate different looks. If you are on the newer-side to photography and would like to know more, I have a course on my community site I’ve created where I take you through the process and give you the presets you see here to use in your own work.

(Click the link to access the courses and files)

It’s all free, and I’m looking for some feedback to see if it’s useful or not. I love teaching – I’ve been doing it for 18 years now – and I hope you can gain something from the course. Just click on the link in my profile to take you directly to the community. Stop by and say “hi” too!