So you want your pictures to go from snore to roar. Photo editing techniques can get you there.
No, really, editing is magical. But say you’ve done the work of downloading the best photo editing apps, taken your photos, and now you need to figure out where to start.
Look no further, because with these five photo editing techniques, your picture quality will elevate supremely. Some of these tips you can apply to your iPhone shots, but also if you’re an aspiring photographer hoping to jump-start your hobby or career.
Keep reading to discover how to make your pictures look beautiful and professional!
5 Helpful Photo Editing Techniques for Beginners
These photo editing techniques revolve around cutting down your workload while still producing excellent photos. You can do all of these even if you’re just starting out as a photographer.
1. Use Camera Raw
The first tip to creating great photos with editing is to use a Camera Raw filter. You can usually get Camera Raw as an extension of Adobe in Photoshop, or a separate app.
What this function does is allow you to edit the raw image formats of any given photo taken with a solid camera (professional to mid-range, as described by Adobe). Camera Raw is a go-to for most photographers because they can gain more control over their pictures while technically working with a digital negative.
Some use Camera Raw to adjust a picture’s temperature or flatten their image out so that they can make bigger edits using other Photoshop features or editing apps. When you use Camera Raw, do what you think feels right.
You own the editing process, so see Camera Raw as a tool for achieving your desired effects. If you want to change anything about the raw image formats in your photos, Camera Raw is a step in the right direction.
2. Know Your Camera
If you are an aspiring photographer looking to progress down a future career path, it’s important to get comfortable with your camera. Photo editing techniques are everything when you understand how to edit what you’ve shot.
That means knowing what you’ve shot and how to shoot with camera settings like ISO and aperture. Indeed, camera settings are like photo editing in real time.
Let’s talk about a few things you should be mindful of when using your camera so that you can live-edit through those settings.
ISO is the light sensitivity of your camera—adjust with the light you get during the day. Aperture lets the light into your camera, which changes the depth of field in pictures.
Lastly, there’s the shutter speed which controls how much let gets in. Fast shutter speed lets a little light, while slow shutter speed lets in lots of light.
3. Efficiency is Key
What lies under efficiency? Mostly time.
If you’re looking to start a potential career or at least put in faithful hours to photography, you’ll want time on your side. This can get tricky, mostly when it comes to editing.
That’s because you want to spend less time editing than you do producing content, whether it’s for fun or for a client. You can do this through playing around with presets that others make, or even making presets of your own.
It also helps to know easy shortcuts, like batch editing by applying one preset to a lot of pictures. Another helpful and efficient shortcut is knowing how to select all photos on iCloud for easy photo transportation.
Doing this also helps you find a “look” that you like for your pictures, creating your own style for editing and in turn, making you better at it in the long run.
4. Zoom Out
Zooming out—not just with the camera—is a great way to get better at editing. What this means is taking a look at your picture or pictures with a bigger lens and asking yourself some artistic questions.
What kind of vibe do you want this picture to have specifically? How will it compare and contrast to other pictures you’ve taken?
These questions are important to ask as an artist and as an event photographer, and even if you’re just taking pictures off of your phone and putting them into Adobe Lightroom.
Thinking about how one picture looks by itself and how it will look next to others can help you construct a uniform style for a series of photos whether it’s for an art gallery, blog, wedding, or your Instagram feed. Then you can edit around the ideal “look” for your photos, like applying the same preset to all of them and then manually adjusting things you want to change with single pictures.
The last and most helpful method for editing to make cool photos is to simply have fun. While it sounds cheesy, experimentation is the best way to get better at editing.
You are more likely to create your own aesthetic by playing around with different element adjustments, and you’ll become increasingly familiar with the different effects in your choice of editing tool. Messing around with different effects are also great ways of stumbling upon really cool results.
You can also get a good feel of what you do and don’t like by snooping around yourself.
Snap to it
Now that you have these five photo editing techniques, you’re set with a strong foundation to your future in photography. It takes time and practice, but so does anything worth getting good at, and using these tips, you can develop pictures that are both shot and edited with great skills.
Whether you’re interested in marketing yourself as a photographer, a career in taking pictures for Instagram or displaying your pictures in art galleries, knowing the effects of editing can pay off in major ways.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your camera, get shooting, and once you’re done, test out any and all of these techniques on your pictures.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to take a look at other posts we’ve made. And come back soon for more content!