The composition of an image, the right colors, tones, warmth, impact and the overall presentation matter the most. Good photographers not only capture the image from a right frame but also change colors, the composition, edit the details and improve not only the aspect but also the content of the images to such an extent that they magnify the beauty of the photo.
While not all of us are photographers and cannot learn photography all of a sudden, the best way to improve your photos is by improving photo editing skills and understanding all the things you can do to retouch your photos. There are many tools available online which will be at your aid. While there are tons of options to choose from, choosing the right one is the key to get a brilliantly edited photo.
You need to refine your photos as much as possible before putting the final touch to it when it comes to refining, you will need a through understanding of saturation, clarity, dodging, and burning. They are not a mandatory aspect for each picture but they have the capability to take your photo editing skills to the next level. Ben Heine, a senior photographer and visual artist takes great pride to share these tips and the below tutorials with you.
So here are 13 tips which will be a treasure for junior and advanced photographers to learn to edit their photos to perfection.
1. Choose the right software for editing
The first step is to choose the right photo editing software. You can always opt for Lightroom which is one of the most prescribed ones for editing a large number of photos. but if you want to edit single photos more in depth, Photoshop is the best solution. Photoshop has been an industry standard for decades, but it’s pricey for those who only use it occasionally. You can also use free alternatives with similar features such as GIMP or Luminar.
2. Cropping and rotating
Your image will need cropping to effectively straighten it out. Crop out the unwanted parts of the image improve its focus, and bring in more framing and orientation while changing its aspect ratio. Use the rule of Third such as 3×3 for cropping.
You must learn the rotating skills for the photos to edit the images. You will need to crop the photo after rotating it to align its frame. You can chose the landscape or portrait rotations modes based on the type of photo, if your photo contains an individual standing against a wall, you should opt for the portrait mode.
You can also use some dedicated services like Adobe Express to easily create mirrored images with Adobe Express to standout on any channel, any device. Simply select your photo, and then play around with the Flip options to mirror your image vertically or horizontally.
3. Remove unwanted details
The effective use of the stamp tool in Photoshop can allow to delete the small and large disturbing aspects of the image. Think about cleaning and refining the general content in your photo but also the small details. You can also use a Wacom tablet to remove every imperfections manually or paint or draw directly inside your photo and improve small details or remove bugs with the stamp tool in Photoshop. If you have any issue with certain areas of the image having color issues or blurriness, you can use the brushes and eyedropper tools to easily paint these parts. Watch Ben Heine’s video tutorial for photo editing.
4. Adjust contrast
Contrast is the scale of dark to light for the photo. You have to adjust is to make sure that your image is not out of frame or blurry. Contrast is one of the most essential components of photography. Contrast is the degree of difference between the tones and colors in a photo. You can think of it as the ratio of tones, or the ratio between the light and dark areas of an image. High contrast and low contrast leave viewers with different impressions and change the impact and feel of your photos. For example, high contrast photos typically have less noticeable details but more evident textures, whereas low contrast ones possess more visible individual elements.
5. Alter the exposure
Your photo will always need the exposure to be adjusted in order to ensure that the photo is not too dark or too bright, you need to pay a close attention to the histogram which showcases all details of your photo, to ensure that you steer away from any clipping in the photo.
6. Adjust the white balance
White balance is one of the most basic and yet trickiest aspects of photography. Although the white balance you’ve set in-camera may look good most of the time, in other cases, you’ll need to correct it in post-processing. An incorrect white balance of the picture can easily affect and ruin the appearance of all the colors in the photo. Changing your white balance has more than one effect on a photo. It affects an image’s color cast, flatness, and saturation.
It is essential to capture the right tone of skin in the photo. The main aim is to even out the skin tone. If you have shot the photo outdoor, you will need the Daylight, Cloudy, or Shade in the white balance. But if you have been shooting your photos indoor, then the white balance will fall in the Tungsten or Fluorescent scale, but the main thing to consider here is the lighting in which you are shooting. The warmer or cooler white balance will be based on the lighting. Learn this from Ben’s tutorial here.
7. Correct color vibrancy and saturation
After correcting the white balance, go to change the color and saturation as well as vibrancy. You can further edit colors in your photos with the saturation and vibrancy controls. The distinction between the two is subtle: Increasing vibrancy increases color intensity in neutral color tones and maintains color intensity in the brighter colors. Increasing saturation makes all colors throughout the frame more intense. When bright colors pop, it can give the photo a more dramatic look. Bright colors give a very pop and dramatic look to the photo while dark vibrancy give more intensity to the photo. You can always add in more brightness or contrast as well as hue or saturation in your picture while adding adjustment layers for each adjustment. But be aware of the number of layers you are adding to maintain quality of the image. You can watch Ben’s tutorial here.
8. Use the dodge and burn tools in Photoshop
9. Sharpen your photo
Your photo will need a lot of sharpening while maintaining the quality of the image. It is considered as a penultimate step of the photo editing process. Its level will be based in the image’s quality, you have to edit it correctly by knowing if it will be printed on a paper or will be uploaded online. Reduce the motion blur. Be aware that sharpening too much your photos can drastically reduce it’s quality so it has to be done softly.
10. Be cautions with filters and other gimmicks
11. Try presets
If you want to edit your photos more quickly, try using some presets to fix lighting issues, tweak colors, and edit your images in a consistent style. These presets will become handy for owners of eCommerce stores who need to enhance many images at once. Even if you don’t have advanced photo editing skills, you can easily apply these product photography Lightroom presets with a few clicks.
Use these free Lightroom presets to edit your product photos without paying a dime. With them you can adjust brightness and make your images look more appealing to potential buyers. This collection was created for those who need to perform color correction without spending a lot of time on post-processing.
12. Be creative
13. Outsource photo editing services
If you really can’t make it or don’t have the time, you can always outsource your photo editing tasks. If you are a photographer with a busy shooting schedule, you might not have enough time for post-processing. In this case, you can automate our outsource all your major photo editing tasks by professional retouchers or order dedicated photo editing presets or professional services to enhance your images and give them a polished look. The experts will tweak colors, improve the composition, adjust contrast and brightness, perform skin retouching, edit the background, make a model look slimmer, remove noise and unwanted details. Grab the photos clicked by Ben Heine from his art shop as well as the premium photo editing tools as well.