Are you new to photography and wondering how you can make your photos look like they were taken by professionals?
To become a great photographer, you of course need to learn the basics of lighting and angles. However, the real magic of a photo often comes alive in the editing room.
What editing techniques do you need to know as a beginner photographer? Read this guide to learn the top photo editing tips for beginners.
1. Remember to Shoot in RAW
Cameras offer two main file formats: JPEG and RAW. While JPEG is great for quick snapshots, RAW is best for those who want to do serious photo editing. RAW offers far greater flexibility, as it allows you to dramatically alter white balance, exposure, color, and more. With JPEG files, you can only make limited changes.
Just keep in mind that RAW is not as easy to display. Before you post your photos on social media or send them to friends, you’ll need to use a RAW editor to convert the image to JPEG.
2. Crop and Clean Up Images
All good photo editing starts with some cropping and some clean-up. When you crop an image, you have the opportunity to remove unwanted elements from the picture’s edges and reposition objects to improve the composition.
Sometimes, cutting off a small portion of a picture can drastically improve the overall look of the photo. Once you’ve cropped, take some time to spot-clean the image. This is especially important if you’re shooting outdoors, as nature’s gritty elements can sometimes get in the way.
You can use a spot-removing tool to remove certain elements, or you can use a background eraser to remove large portions of the background.
3. Adjust the White Balance
Adjusting the white balance of an image allows you to play with the color levels. If your image has a color level that’s displeasing, you can adjust the white balance to fix it.
Most photo editing software programs allow you to choose from preset white balance modes to better calibrate the image. Additionally, many of these programs offer sliders to adjust the temperature and tint so you can better fine-tune your image.
We recommend playing around with the white balance until you find something that pleases you.
4. Adjust the Vibrancy and Saturation
Saturation and vibrancy controls allow you to further adjust the colors in your photos. Vibrancy increases the intensity of neutral colors and helps you maintain intensity in brighter colors.
On the other hand, saturation makes all of the colors in the photo more intense. If you’re looking to make the bright colors pop, adjust the vibrancy before you play with the saturation.
5. Adjust the Contrast and Exposure
Contrast refers to the range of dark to light tones. When the contrast is high, you see a stark image where all tones are either very light or very dark.
When the contrast is low, you’ll have a flat image where none of the elements stand out. Typically, you want to find something in the middle to avoid either extreme.
Exposure allows you to make the overall photo brighter or darker. It’s best to correct the exposure when you first take a photo to get the image you want.
Time to Start Photo Editing!
Now that you’ve discovered some great photo editing tips, it’s time to start making some adjustments to your photos. The best way to learn photo editing is to dive in and practice, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
And, check back in with our blog for more photography tips!
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