Most beginning photographers don’t truly understand the importance of photo editing, I certainly didn’t! I was quick to share photos straight out of the camera to my friends, spent money on raw prints, and was woefully ignorant to the world of photography processing and editing. But I am learning that photography is not just clicking a button and praying to the photo gods that the images captured will be awesome, editing plays just as big of a roll. Take this photo below:
The first photo is sweet… my little one is smiling and there is nothing distracting in the background. However, the colors are off, there are dark shadows, and it is sharper than I prefer. The detail of her pretty lace romper are lost and her eyes are shadowed. Of course I love photos of my girls but I knew I could make this better.
I didn’t need to crop it but I brightened shadows and her eyes, added detail to the lace, softened her skin and added a subtle glow, and added a blur effect to the background.
Photo editing doesn’t have to cost anything, there are plenty of free programs out there like Photoshop Elements. Even smartphones have photo editing programs, Camera + for instance, so there is no excuse for not doing it. I use Photoshop CS5 for editing, but the point is to use something to edit.
Once you get a program here are some basic edits to do:
Crop- try to follow to rule of thirds or crop out elements you don’t like
Auto correct if you don’t know how to manually adjust tone and color.
Saturation- how bright your colors are
Sharpness, Contrast, Brightness- all important things
Here is another example of before and after editing. I cropped the photo to bring more focus to the deer, lightened shadows, made the deer more vibrant, and blurred the surrounding forest to add focus.
Once you get the hang of basic editing then you can use actions and special effects to your photos like adding sun glares, making them appear vintage, and other cool things. I highly recommend CoffeeShop Actions… they are for Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Elements and are addicting as well as time saving! Also, check out Pinterest for other photo editing tips and tricks… I learn a new skill every day thanks to Pinterest!
Take lots of photos and practice, practice, practice. Enjoy and be back tomorrow!