When you get started with photography, you might be tempted to outsource some of your editing. Maybe your photos don’t look professional enough when you do them alone and you aren’t satisfied with your own work, or maybe you just don’t know how to get started.
A photo straight from the camera is never complete. Every professional photographer edits their work to make it the best that it can be, but how can you learn those skills?
We can’t teach you everything (some things take experience and time to learn) but we can offer a few photo editing tips to get things going. Keep reading to learn basic photo editing tips that will make your photos look more professional.
1. Learn to Use Curves
Almost all editing apps offer a “curves” function. It can look intimidating at first, especially to novice photographers. Learning how to use it can up your photo game.
Spend some time playing with it to acquaint yourself with how it works in light mode and each of the colors. You’ll realize that it’s a more refined way to use many of the other functions offered in editing apps. It lets you get more specific with your base lighting and colors.
Most editing systems have the same overall curves function, so once you adapt to it, you should be able to use it in any app.
2. Improve Your Color Scheme
Some people are purists when it comes to the colors in the photo. They want everything to look as it does in real life.
In reality, the real world is dull and this is more true in photos. The camera can’t always capture true colors in the same way that our eyes can. Sometimes we just want to make certain colors pop while others fall back.
A cohesive color scheme can make a set of photos look well put-together like a true portfolio or album. Adjust your colors with curves or HSL features. You can do this with a free Photoshop alternative.
3. Watch Your Exposure and Contrast
Many novice photographers go overboard with contrast and exposure. When you’re taking a photo it’s best to slightly overexpose it. It makes edits easier and the photo will have better overall color and clarity.
When you’re editing, keep the exposure to the midpoint or just above or below unless you’re going for a specific look. Contrast can be boosted slightly, but an over-contrasted photo is a sure sign of a novice editor.
4. Don’t Be Afraid of Presets
A lot of people think that using presets (or filters) somehow devalues their photography but this isn’t true at all. They give you a good foundation so you can find what you like and learn to refine the photos after you have a solid base.
Many presets will also show you the changes that were made while you’re in the app. This lets you know the changes that you have to make to get your photo how you like it.
What Are Your Favorite Photo Editing Tips?
We hope these photo editing tips will help you take your photos to the next level. Editing can be fun and creative, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find what you’re looking for.
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