Once you’ve figured out your camera, the basics of exposure, and how to compose a great photo, it’s time to learn a few photo editing requirements to give your body a final touch. The steps below will still get you started in the photo editing process. You’ll also find things to think about before you start editing at the end of the registration.
The key steps for photo editing:
1. Crop your images and clear them.
2. Adjust the white balance.
3. Adjust exposure and contrast.
4. Adjust the color vibration and saturation.
5. Sharpen the images.
6. Finalize and share.
Basic photo editing techniques should be available even in general editing programs, and each can make your photos more powerful and shareable. Advanced editing software will offer these basic tools, as well as refinements that allow you to perform more sophisticated edits that are beyond the scope of this article. You don’t have to shoot the basic editing steps of each image, but the steps you want to take should be in the order listed.
The easiest picture to edit, of course, is a picture taken by a skilled photographer who takes the time to get exceptional shots on the field. (You may want to consider shooting in RAW image format for maximum editing control. Read more about understanding your camera to learn more about RAW vs. jpg image format. You should also make sure that your editing program can work with RAW images). Start learning how to get the best shots, consider taking a hands-on photography course.
Photo Editing: Crop your images and clear them.
Straighten the picture: It’s always a good idea to focus on marking sure your horizon is horizontal when you shoot, but straightening is a simple first edit step.
Crop the picture: It is best to crop the edges of the frame to enhance the intricate compositional details, such as confusing elements or slight alterations to your subject.
Spot clean images: A dusty place outside and the stingy elements of nature have a way to find their way through your camera lens and then into your photos. (Using a lens brush regularly will reduce this.)
Most editing programs have a spot-removing tool. The name is changed: “Clone Stumping” and “Spot Healing” programs allow you to change your view of a photo to highlight the location of the spots. Workaround your pictures systematically until you have a spot-free image.
Photo editing: Adjust the white balance.
White balance is related to color levels, not just exposure. If your image has an overall color tone that you find unattractive or unnatural, you can adjust the white balance to fix it. Note that jpg files, because they capture much less digital data than RAW files, offer a minimal amount of white balance adjustment when editing.
Most editing programs allow you to choose from preset modes like “Flash” “Daylight” or “Cloud” to better calibrate the image for the light conditions when it was shot. In addition, many have both a “temperature” and a “tint” slider that you can fine-tune to make the overall light cast of an image.
Adjust exposure and contrast.
Exposure adjustment: This is the process of making the photo as bright or dark as you like. Keep in mind that “noise” (a distorted look) can sometimes be turned on when you increase the brightness. This is why it is always best to get the right exposure (which is bright enough) when you first take pictures.
Adjusting the contrast:
The contrast range from dark to light tones. When it is extra high, you see a harsh image, where it is high, you see a harsh image, where all the tones, regardless of color, are either too dark or too light. When it is extra low, you see a flat figure where no elements of the frame are separated. Generally, you want a moderate contract that avoids any one of these extremes. But if you choose one of these effects, you can adjust the contrast to achieve it.
How to use the photo histogram:
This graphic representation of the tonal range of a photo helps you to optimize the final exposure level when editing. You don’t always have to look at the histogram, but it can be helpful when a shot has a lot of dark areas or a lot of light areas. Many editing programs incorporate it into the skin where you adjust the exposure, making it easier to reference. A well-expressed photo will give you tones from dark to light and more tones will be grouped in the middle:
Your goal is not always to photograph with a histogram like the one above the lightness of the subject matter determines it.
When you have a spike to the left of the histogram, though, it indicates that your photo has too many dark tones:
When there is a spike to the right of your histogram, it indicates that your photo has too many light tones:
You can do eyeball exposure as well as edit, but a histogram can be an incredibly useful tool, especially if you get into the habit of viewing it regularly.
Keep in mind that a histogram can also be effective when you are taking pictures. The backlit LED screen of your camera can be difficult to see and often makes the pictures look brighter than they are.
If you see the histogram key in a complex exposure, you can adjust the exposure setting to get the full range of sufficient parties in both the dark and light cases of the histogram. (Again, the closer you get to a good exposure in the field, the less time you spend editing for later exposure.)
Adjust the color vibration and saturation.
Once the white balance is adjusted, you can further refine the colors in your photo with saturation and vibration control. The difference between the two is subtle: the increase in vibration intensity in bright colors. Increasing saturation intensifies all colors across the frame. If the bright color pops, it can give the photo a more dramatic look.
Sharpen the images.
Sharpening an image gives it a crisper, clearer look. Many programs offer multiple sharpening tools. Start by adjusting the overall amount of sharpness (on a scale of 0 to 100). Start at 50%, then adjust the level up or down to get the sharpness you want.
Examine your editing program with additional sharp features to see what effect each has. You can try a “transparency” or “structure” tool. This makes the edges of the object in the photo more distinct, giving the overall image a punchier look.
To evaluate the effect of each sharpness adjustment you need to look closely at the individual areas of the frame. Not only is it very important for social media posts to have very fine details, but it will make a big difference to any image you plan to enlarge and print.
Note that sharpening an image cannot turn an out-of-focus shot into an in-focus shot. No editing tool can do that. Also, if you sharpen an image too much, you can create an unnatural halo effect around the objects in the frame.
Finalize and share.
Once you’ve finished all your edits, set your photos aside. Then come back later and check them out to see if you are happy with each one. If not, make additional edits where needed. Then, since RAW files are much larger, you need to convert the edited photos to jpg. You should save the original edited images as well as the final edited versions of the images you came from.
Things to think about before you start photo editing
Photo Editing Programs: Options include advanced and expensive pro programs, free open-source online options, and often your camera comes with basic editing software. If you get a more advanced program, consider whether you want a cloud-based (a monthly fee) or a standalone version (a one-time purchase price).
Cloud-based programs stay up to date and allow you to store photos in the cloud (at an additional cost). You can also edit the case with a mobile version of a tablet or software, but this does not mean that you have an online connection. If you compare prices over time, though buying a standalone version of an editing program will usually save you money.
Understand the difference between “non-destructive” and “destructive” editing:
Some editing software automatically saves your original non-destructive edits. Others save edited images from the original –destructive editing. Editing trials and errors are involved and if you make a mistake you should be able to get back to the original file, so make sure your editing program makes your original copy. If not, make a copy of all the pictures you want to edit before you start.
Important and sorting photos: Digital photography is a beautiful thing, you can take multiple shots to increase the chances of getting some spectacular pictures. So after transferring and organizing your images to your computer, your first step is to review them to determine which ones to edit.
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