If you’re new to photography, editing your images might take a lot of time and you might not know where to begin. It's difficult to tell people what to do and what not to do as people enjoy different styles and colors. However, these common editing do’s and don’ts are appropriate for most photographers who wants to learn how to edit their own images. If you're still not sure what editing software you should use we recommend Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. These programs have everything you will ever (most likely) need. If you want to make your editing process faster and easier you can check out our Lightroom Presets.
SHOOT IN RAW!
We cannot stress this point enough! Most cameras today can shoot in raw, even GoPros, so there’s no reason for you not to do so! When shooting in a format like JPEG image information is compressed and lost. Because no information is compressed with RAW you’re able to produce higher quality images, as well as correct problems that would be unrecoverable if shot in the JPEG format.
PLAN FOR CROPPING
Give yourself room to crop. If you accidentally cropped out someone’s foot or hand while shooting you can’t zoom out to make it wider after the picture is taken, you can only crop with editing programs.
KNOW YOUR SETTINGS
You already know that we shoot in RAW, but we also shoot in auto whit balance and slightly underexposed as it’s way easier to add brightness/sunlight to a picture than to remove brightness/sunlight. Play around with your camera, get to know the different settings and you'll quickly find your favorite settings.
SHOOT WITH A LOW ISO
Shoot with as low an ISO as you realistically can. The lower the ISO, the more dynamic range you can get before noise becomes a serious problem.
USE LIGHTROOM PRESETS
When using Lightroom presets with only one click you’ll be able to instantly get your photos to an 85-95% edited state. This means you only need to make a couple of adjustments on the sliders and you are done editing. Rather than editing each photo from the beginning of the editing process, you can spend more time fine-tuning your image to exactly how you want it.
DON'T CHOOSE NOT TO EDIT
Always edit your pictures. Doesn’t matter if it’s only small adjustments, some editing will always make your picture look better and/or cleaner.
Take your time. Have a snack, talk to your girlfriend/boyfriend, watch Netflix and come back to editing later. You may find that you will sometimes look at an edit later on and want to entirely re-do it. But if you don’t have a lot of time or don’t like to spend hours editing, we suggest that you download our Lightroom presets as they will save you a lot of time.
DON'T ADD TOO MUCH CLARITY
Lightroom’s Clarity slider can really make an image pop, but it can also completely break one. It’s a slider which should be used with care; pulling it too far (in any direction) will leave a negative impact on the image. Just as with most otheradjustments, clarity should be used with care and mostly selectively, not globally!
DON'T MAKE ONLY GLOBAL ADJUSTMENTS
This is a mistake that the majority of beginning photographers aren’t aware that they’re making, but in order to make the most out of your processing you need to start making selective adjustments. Play around with gradient tools, masks, brush tools and more to make selective adjustments to your photo. Our favorite is the dodge and burn tool from Photoshop!
When it comes to photography and photo editing there’s a plethora of things that you can experiment with. That being said, these do's and don'ts are just a guideline, don’t be afraid to try new things, and know that messing up during the process is normal! Who knows, you might even end up with a remarkable piece of art or find your own style after messing up!