Why Nondestructive Editing Is so Crucial for Photographers

If you are new to photography, you are probably wondering what a lot of terms mean, and one that you have probably heard quite a bit with regards to post-production is "nondestructive editing." This excellent video tutorial will both explain what the term means and show you why it is an absolutely crucial thing for photographers of all genres. 

Coming to you from Aaron Nace with Phlearn, this awesome video will introduce you to the concept of nondestructive editing and why it's so beneficial for photographers of all styles. If you have just started poking around in Photoshop, you might be editing your images directly on the background layer instead of using adjustment layers. You'll likely quickly discover that this leaves you at a significant disadvantage if you make a mistake, overdo something, or want to go back and adjust something, as you'll only have limited undo and you might erase work from intermediate steps that you want to keep in the process. This is where a nondestructive workflow can become your best friend and save you from numerous headaches in the future, and it's a lesson every photographer should learn as soon as possible. Check out the video above to see what it's all about. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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nondestructive editing = working with layer so if you work for a client that wanna fix or go back with the edit. I would be surprised if this is not obvious that all who work professionally do that. :)

I've seen so many people that sell workshops, tutorials etc that don't use non-destructive workflow it isn't ven funny anymore, just annoying.
Even basic stuff like adjustment layers are ignored...

i guess they use the old Photoshop PRO..cant go backward. xD

I do deliver layered files for creative shadow on clipped files and usually deliver a pure white background layer. Never deliver alterations, especially regarding colors in layers.

Unfortunately as Paolo said, so many photographers selling tutorials etc DO constantly flatten their files throughout post production, or merge up the entire file and only work with pixel layers.