How do your ears affect your editing?

I’m curious regarding the effects of sounds on people’s photo editing. Do you like silence, or do you prefer to have music on, or do you edit in a noisy household environment? If you like to have music playing, do you find that the genre of music you play affects the way you edit? Can you concentrate in a noisy environment? Personally, I find quiet is best.

Silence. Peripheral sounds or noises are fine as long as they aren’t droning or sudden. The whirling of the laptop’s fans annoy me though.


Ditto what @afre said. I’m hard of hearing myself.

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It really depends on hownim feeling and if I know exactly what I want out of an image.

Sometimes I like it quiet and then I edit quite slowly and dialog with the image.

Sometimes I want to hear a specific album, so I put it on and vibe. This is generally when I already have a vision for the image.


I am an unabashed night-owl/late chronotype, partly because I detest nearly all human-made noises (except music). Thus I rarely edit during the day, but usually prefer evening and night hours.

Years ago, during my postdoctoral work at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver), I would sometimes stay up all hours working on composite photographic plates consisting of scanning and transmission electron micrographs I had taken of microorganisms I was researching. These plates would be for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals. This involved a great deal of painstaking, but enjoyable work. I was pretty well-versed in Photoshop and Illustrator at that point, although now I have abandoned Adobe completely (CC!). While doing this work I would often put on music of Anton Bruckner, especially the symphonies 5 and 8, the latter being one of the greatest of all pieces of art created by the human race (in my humble opinion). I would be in a “zone” with this music and my work that was difficult to describe. The sound of the endless rain of BC would also form a wonderful accompaniment to my work. (I NEVER tired of the rain).

Now, I often listen to jazz and like to edit in the 6-9PM hours, in which I listen to a program called “The Jazz Oasis” on KCSM, “The Bay Area’s Jazz Station” (91.1 FM), my favorite radio station on the planet. A glass or beer or wine also helps to get the creative juices flowing.

I sometimes also put on rain or ocean sounds for editing, especially my winter work–I am obsessed with late fall and winter photography. I long to live in a place with endless rain–and to move OUT of SoCal!!! (Perhaps Ireland. I am an Irish citizen after all.)

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sound will tire the brain faster and fatigue will come faster. it can be boring to edit photos in complete silence.I like different trance music, bardic, folk, electronic without words, club but I listen according to my mood, listening to the same thing is tiresome

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I dont think the sound environment affects my editing.

I’m generally good at zoning out and focussing regardless of whats going on around. Typically its the noise of my kids or the relative silence of the evenings. Daytime work edits may be done to anything between silence and crust punk with no discernible difference in results.

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For me it works the other way around … I need to find the right music for the edit.

Some things are total nogos:

  • public radio
  • anything with advertising
  • anything talking

…but my music collection is vast and diverse, so no problem.

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