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Photography 101 – 5 Beginner Photo Editing Tips

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May 2, 2019

Being a good photographer is an amazing talent to have, but in 2019, a second talent has become relevant as well: the ability to properly edit your photos. In this blog we will go over the 5 key items to focus on when you are a novice editor. Don’t have a photo editing software yet? Get a 30-day free trial of Photo Studio Ultimate 2019 or one of our other amazing products! Now lets dive in!  

1. Shoot in RAW 

It can be very beneficial to the photo editing process if you shoot in RAW versus JPEG. The RAW file format will provide you with all the image data captured by your camera’s sensor without compressing it, as is the case with the JPEG format, which leads to the loss of some of the original elements. Shooting in RAW gives you more options when you’re editing your photos so you can properly achieve your creative vision. You can check out our video on YouTube on editing RAW images to hear more about the flexibility RAW images give you. 

2. Straightening Your Photo  

 

We mentioned in our blog post, Photography 101- Composition, there is a rule of thirds. When you are taking photos of a landscape, such as the ocean, you want to make sure that the lines within the photo, like the horizon, are straight. If you notice that some of the lines in your photo are off center, this is fixable in editing. You can easily do this when you are in the rotating and cropping setting. Almost any software will give you an option to straighten your photo. A grid will come up as a guide to help you properly straighten your photos. Doing this simple fix will make your photos look 10x better. 

3. Exposure/Contrast

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, your photo comes out either under  or overexposed. There are multiple factors that can affect this, such as the lighting or the environment. These can be easily fixed in post-production with slight changes in the exposure and contrast settings.  

Exposure enhances the light and dark elements of your photo. If your photo is darker, it is underexposed. If it’s lighter, that means it’s overexposed.  For example, if you have the sun in the background of your photo and you increase the exposure, the sun and elements around it will become brighter. If you are wanting your photo to be darker (if the sun is too bright) you would reduce the amount of exposure in your photo to increase the darker elements and reduce the amount of brightness in your photo. 

Contrast, on the other hand, will increase the color elements of your photos, making light areas lighter and dark areas darker. For example, if you decreased the contrast to 0, your photo would be black and white. It is best to use exposure and contrast features in moderation as using them to extreme levels will make your photos look over-edited.  

Pro tip: Depending on the program you have, you can increase or decrease the exposure or contrast on just one part of your photo, creating some interesting effects! You can do this in ACDSee Ultimate 2019 with our Edit Brush.  

4. Repair Tools 

Many photo editing software programs will have a repair tool, and this can be very handy when editing photos. It is very good for editing someone/something out of the background. ACDSee Ultimate 2019 has this feature with three options: Heal, Clone, and Smart Erase. This gives you an abundance of options for ways to fix your photo. You can erase someone from the background, fix blemishes on someone’s skin, etc. This tool is simple to use and can take your photo to the next level!  

5. Vignette 

This is a wonderful tool that can be used to focus on specific aspects of the photo. Vignette is used to darken the edges of a photo, bringing the center into focus. This tool can be found on most photo editing software, as well as ACDSee Ultimate 2019. When using this feature, you do not want to overuse it. It is a great feature to subtly frame the subject you’re wanting to highlight.   

The overall take away is don’t over-edit your photos. You want your creative vision to come through without your photo looking unnatural. Knowing this will help you develop your photography and find your specific style. People can tell when a photo is over-edited and will focus more on the editing aspects than the photo itself. That being said, we hope that you enjoyed this blog. Feel free to ask us questions in the comments!  

 

Tags: PHOTOGRAPHY101

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