Often we need to edit our photos before putting them on social media or printing them out. There are lots of free tools to do this.
I’m going to share with you some of my favorite photo editing tools I use in my business and how they can help you too.
Take your images from ordinary to extraordinary with these easy photo editing tips.
How To Edit Photos Like A Professional
What Is Professional Photo Editing?
People in the field of professional photo editing, or retouching, spend time every day making adjustments to images that will improve their quality, enhance them for a specific purpose, and/or add creative elements on request.
Working with a wide variety of clients and projects, they might use image-editing software to do anything from bringing out the best in an amateur photographer’s vacation snapshot to creating visual effects for the latest blockbuster.
The main ingredients of professional photo editing are creativity, attention to detail, a good understanding of color theory, and some knowledge of technical photography.
A lot of folks are under the impression that all images require some level of photo editing. While this may be true for a few, for most images a little post-production will suffice. Here’s a breakdown of the various levels of image processing:
Level 1 Photo Editing (Basic)
This is the most basic form of image manipulation and is used to correct common issues like: exposure, contrast, sharpening, and noise reduction.
Level 2 Photo Editing (Intermediate)
The intermediate level of editing can include things like: color correction, retouching, removing unwanted objects from images or adding in new elements to replace existing ones.
Level 3 Photo Editing (Advanced)
The advanced level includes things like: compositing multiple photos together to create one image or adding special effects to get something that doesn’t exist in real life.
Photo Editing For Beginners
Think about the last time you took a picture on your phone or DSLR camera, uploaded it to Instagram and shared it with the world. Or when you printed a photograph for your desk at work.
Are there parts of the image you wish were different? Maybe something was too dark, too bright or just plain blurry?
If so, or even if you’re looking for some new photo editing tips, keep reading!
You may have heard that
There are plenty of free photo editing tools that can help you achieve professional results in minutes.
How To Edit Photos Like A Professional
If you are a professional photographer, then you will know that it is very important to edit pictures well so that they can be unique and beautiful.
You might be asking yourself how you can edit your photos like a professional. The following article will give you some simple tips that you can use.
When editing your photos, there is one thing that you need to bear in mind. If your pictures have dark areas or light areas, they will lose their meaning and message.
When editing, it is therefore important to make sure that the whole picture has the right tonal range so as not to leave any dark or light places.
The next tip for editing your photos like a pro is making sure that the exposure of the picture is correct.
The exposure should be adjusted first so that it can prevent the picture from looking washed out or too dark. It is also important to ensure that there is a good balance between the bright and the dark parts of the image when adjusting it.
Adjusting Contrast And Brightness
Just because your picture looks dull once you have adjusted its exposure doesn’t mean that all hope is lost for making it look better! You can easily adjust its contrast and brightness by using some photo editing software.
How To Edit Pics With White Balance
Have you ever taken a picture of something on your phone, only to find it looks completely different after you edit it?
That’s because that photo was taken without any white balance. White balance is one of the most basic photo editing tools. Here’s how to fix it!
TECHNIQUE 1: The quickest way to fix this problem is with a simple color corrector. You can find the color corrector under “filters” in
TECHNIQUE 2: If you want to edit your photos manually, there are two ways: automatic white balance and manual white balance. Automatic white balance is easy but isn’t always the best choice.
To do it, select the “auto” option when you are editing your picture. This will automatically change the colors of your photo to make them look normal again.
However, sometimes this makes pictures look weird or unnatural — especially if you’re taking a picture outside during the day.
The grass might look bluish and weird and you may lose some details in the shadows. White balance is a setting on your camera that compensates for the color temperature of a light source.
If you want accurate color in your pictures, it’s important to know what white balance does and how to get it right. When you take pictures in an area with fluorescent lighting, your shots will look unnatural because the camera’s white balance doesn’t correct for fluorescent bulbs.
Fluorescent bulbs flicker at higher speeds and are difficult for the camera to “see.” Even though you might think the lights are flickering in a neutral way, they’re still affecting your shot.
If you’re using a white balance setting that’s not set to automatic, switch it to automatic and choose the fluorescent setting if necessary.
An improper white balance setting will result in shots that are too yellow or too blue. If you have your camera set to auto-white balance (AWB), but the whites in your shots come out yellow, then your shot is probably overcompensating and needs more blue.
Likewise, if your shots have an overall blue cast, then AWB is probably adding too much yellow. If AWB isn’t working correctly, try switching to the appropriate white balance setting for the lighting conditions in which you’re shooting.
How To Edit Your Photos Exposure
Exposure refers to how light or dark your photo will be. An image that is properly exposed allows for details in highlights and shadows to be visible, without the image looking washed out or over-exposed.
There are two types of exposure errors: under-exposure and over-exposure.
Exposure is dependent on the shutter speed & aperture settings you use. Shutter speed is how long the shutter stays open which control the amount of light entering through your camera’s lens.
Aperture controls the size of the opening inside your camera’s lens which controls how much light will enter the camera.
To control exposure, you must first control either shutter speed or aperture, then adjust the other accordingly.
Under-exposure: If you don’t let enough light into your camera during a shot, it will result in an image that appears too dark.
Image details in dark areas of your photos like shadows and black clothing may not be visible at all, or they may appear as black blobs instead of detailed areas of an image that they should be. If this happens, you can try increasing your shutter speed by selecting a higher ISO or adjusting your lighting setup.
Over-exposure: Depending on what you are shooting, if you let too much light into your camera No matter what kind of photography you are doing, there will be a time when you will need to edit your photos.
For example, if you are using your camera for a holiday trip, or to capture the vacation shots with your friends and family, or even if you have to take the photos of the food you cooked for dinner.
All these are possible only when you have good editing skills.
1. Select the photo which needs editing.
2. Open up your favorite image editing software on your computer and open the photo in it.
3. If the picture is too bright or too dark, then we can fix that by adjusting the brightness and contrast settings first. Please note that this step is optional and depends on your personal preference.
4. Adjust the exposure of your picture so that all the colors in it are balanced, as well as nice and clear.
This step is also optional but recommended, as sometimes while taking photos there might come a time when one area in it might be over exposed and some other area of it under exposed, due to which your photo won’t be nice and clear. So this step helps in fixing such issues.
How Do You Edit Photos Contrast
What is the best way to edit photos contrast? This is a question I get a lot.
The quick answer is that you want to adjust your photo’s exposure and contrast appropriately. You want to not do it too much, or else you’ll lose detail in the image.
But you want to do it enough so that the image has enough range in lights and darks.
The best way to understand how this works is to practice and play around with your own photos until you understand how it works. It can be tricky, but I’m going to give you some basic guidelines below.
Contrast is just another word for the range of lights and darks in an image. If an image has a lot of contrast, then there are a lot of darks and lights in it.
If there’s not much contrast, then it’s not very bright or dark at all.
How To Edit Your Photos Colors
If you’re coming from a design background, you may be more comfortable with editing the photo’s contrast instead of using curves.
This works the same way as with curves but it requires less work. You’ll be adjusting three points on this new graph to affect the contrast of your photo:
The first point will be where the white and black points meet on your photo. The second point will be in between these two points, and will control how bright your mid-tones are.
The last point will be at the bottom left corner of this new graph and will control how dark the shadow tones are in your photo.
Adjust these three settings to affect the color contrast of your photo. Your goal is to have a nice range of tones from light to dark without going too heavy on one side or another.
It’s all about balance!
How do I use this? Open an image in
Choose Your Photo Editing Program
One of the most common questions I get from readers is which photo editing program they should use. While I’ve touched on this issue in some of my articles, I thought it was time for a complete guide to the topic.
When you’re starting out, it can be very confusing to choose the best photo editing software and doing so can be a particularly daunting task if you have no prior experience with photo editing.
In this article, I’ll try to help you choose the right photo editing software for your needs by going through all the important factors that you need to consider. There are a number of free photo editing programs available on the internet.
The most popular include:
Gimp Fotoflexer Adobe
This means that you want a program that lets you easily move from one action to another, undo actions if necessary and quickly get back where you were.
TIP: If you want to save money, use the free version of Adobe
You can still do plenty with this software though so don’t let that stop you from at least trying it out. When it comes to photo editing, there are many different options.
TIP: Never edit your photos with the software that comes with your camera. The results will be less than desirable.
Photoshop is a very powerful program, but it can be quite intimidating for the beginner. Please take the time to read this article before venturing into
Photoshop is an image editing software that can allow you to work with your photos and images using a variety of tools. Some of the things you can do with
- Resize large photos.Change the size and shape of your photos.
- Rotate your photos.
- Change color of a photo or add special effects like black & white or sepia tone.
- Fix problems with your photos by removing red-eye or blemishes or adding special effects like making a person look thinner or fatter.
- Make copies of your photos and change the canvas size.
These are just some of the things you can do with
Toolbar – The tool bar on the left side of screen contains all the tools that are available in
Layers -The layers palette contains all of your layers.
Image ModesRGB color mode stores information for each channel in an image as a number from 0 to 255. It is the mode used for most images on the web and for saving images for use on TV’s and monitors.
When you open an image in RGB color mode in
Any colors that are out of gamut for the selected color space will be clipped to the closest possible colors.
CMYK color mode is used for printing images and cannot be viewed directly in
Working in CMYK is usually easier than RGB, because the colors are more predictable, but you can’t rely on colors appearing exactly as you see them on your screen. Onscreen colors usually appear brighter than they do when printed.
RGB Color Mode. Typical photographic images are created using RGB (red, green and blue) information, so they are commonly referred to as RGB images. This is also the default color space when working with digital cameras and scanners.
In this tutorial I’ll show you how to make a
Let’s get started.
“Speed” is the theme here so you’ll need to have some sort of speedometer in your image. You might be able to find one online and download it, or you can create one yourself: Create a new layer, fill it with white and then go to Filter -> Render -> Lens Flare.
Adjust the settings until you get something that looks like a speedometer, then place it where you want it in the image. If the speedometer didn’t come out exactly like you wanted, that’s okay; we’ll adjust it later anyway.
Next, create another new layer above the “speedometer” layer (or below if yours is at the bottom), and then fill it with black using the Paint Bucket Tool (G). Select the Gradient Tool (G) and choose Linear Gradient with FG color set to black and BG color set to transparent.
Then drag from the top-left corner of the “speedometer” layer to about half way across it horizontally.
This is why there are numerous tutorials available to help familiarize newcomers with its features.
Tutorials are a great way to learn new skills and techniques, but if you’re a beginner, they can be difficult to follow. The two main reasons for this are because they assume knowledge of basic
Also, many tutorials focus on one particular skill or technique, so you may not be sure how to use what you’re learning in your day-to-day work. Fortunately, there is an alternative: YouTube videos.
While these may not go into quite as much detail as written tutorials, they have a major advantage in that they take you through step by step instructions of how a particular effect or technique can be achieved.
This article will look at some of the best
Crop And Straighten Your Image
Cropping your image allows you to focus on a specific area of the image. Straightening your image will remove any distortion caused by the lens used to take the photo.
The easiest way to crop an image is to open it in
Click and drag around your subject, then click on one of the corners, eventually you’ll be able to select which part of the image you want to keep. When you’re finished, hit enter and it will save.
You can also use this technique for straightening your images. If you don’t have a tripod, find something solid that won’t move around too much while taking pictures (a wall or large rock work well).
Then when you have your camera set up, place a small bill or business card in between the camera body and lens on top of the object you’re photographing. This will help prevent any shake or movement from occurring while taking pictures.
Crop out any extra space that might be visible around the edges of your picture after taking it.
You’ll notice that if there was any movement while taking the picture, it will appear as diagonal lines across your photo.
Cropping and straightening your image to have a balanced composition can also have a dramatic effect. Cropping refers to cutting an image to remove some parts of it, so that the remaining part of the image is visually more appealing or has a more balanced composition.
Straightening refers to adjusting the orientation of an image so that it’s not tilted.
Other than cropping and straightening, there are a few other effects you can apply to your image. These effects are applied on the “Adjustments” tab.
Some examples include color correction effects, tone effects, and special effects like adding grain to give your images a film look or creating a pencil sketch effect.
The best thing about these adjustments is that most of them are non-destructive, which means they only affect the look of the image without permanently altering it.
Remove Any Unwanted Elements In Your Photo
If you have been following this blog for a while then you already know that I am a big fan of Lightroom. It is simply the best software available to edit your photos and easily worth the monthly fee.
There are many reasons why I love it but one of my favorite features is the ability to remove unwanted elements in your photo. These days, most of my photos are taken with my camera phone.
Every once in a while I will take an amazing photo with my Canon 70D but these are rare occasions. The majority of the photos are taken by holding my cell phone up as high as possible and snapping as quickly as possible.
This means that I get lots of unwanted elements in my photos such as power lines or other tourists. I recently took a trip to North Dakota and wanted to share some photos but there was a power line in every single one!
I was frustrated because I couldn’t figure out how to remove the power lines from each photo.
After reading this post you will be able to remove any unwanted elements from your photo! or at least give it a try. Removing unwanted elements from your photo is an essential part of a photographer’s job.
In most cases, it’s not a question of choosing whether to remove them, but how much effort you wish to invest in the process.
Tasks like removing power lines from a landscape or items of street furniture from an architectural shot can be done quickly and with minimal effort, while removing people from shots can be a time-consuming and fiddly task.
Correct White Balance Of Your Photo
White balance refers to the color of light in your photo. It’s set automatically on most cameras, but sometimes the automatic setting can’t get it right. If your photo is too blue, you’ll need to adjust it using a white balance filter.
Here’s how to do it:
- Open the photo in
Photoshop. If you don’t have Photoshop, use GIMP, a free alternative program (see Resources).
- Click on Image and then Mode; choose RGB Color from the drop-down menu.
- Click on Image and then Mode again; choose Grayscale from the drop-down menu.
- Click on Layer and select New Adjustment Layer; select Hue/Saturation from the drop-down menu that appears.
- In the Hue/Saturation dialog box, drag the Saturation slider all the way to the left so there is no color at all in your photo.
- Click OK and then click OK again to close the Hue/Saturation dialog box.This will remove all color from your image, leaving only shades of gray behind:
- Go back to Layer and select New Adjustment Layer; select Levels from the drop-down menu that appears.
White balance is the color temperature of the light that illuminates your subject. Different sources of light have different color temperatures, so it’s important to set your camera correctly for the lighting conditions you’re shooting in.
Tungsten bulbs and fluorescent lights tend to give a bluish cast when shooting in Auto WB. Manual white balance setting on the other hand, can help you achieve a more neutral color in your photo. Here’s how to set your camera for different lighting conditions.
Correct Exposure Of Your Photo
No matter how good the camera, there is no substitute for correct exposure. There are lots of other considerations that can make your photos look great, like composition, framing, and so on.
But if you don’t get the exposure right, it doesn’t matter how great your photo looks.
Trying to figure out how to expose your photo correctly can be confusing. Even with a good camera, not being familiar with your equipment can lead to incorrect exposures.
Even if you know what you’re doing with your camera, it’s still very easy to get things wrong. There are so many settings on cameras that making sure everything is set correctly for a specific scene and light level is a daunting task for the best photographers.
In this post, I’m going to describe the fundamentals of getting correct exposures with both digital cameras and film cameras. In a future post, I’ll go into more detail about shooting under different situations like night photography and available light photography.
The most common problem people face when they are taking pictures is that their photos are either under exposed or over exposed. If your photos are underexposed, it means that you have not captured enough light from the scenes and this will affect the quality of your picture.
The good news is that you do not have to spend thousands of dollars on a professional camera in order to take high quality photos. You can easily buy a good digital camera for a few hundred dollars and keep it with you at all times.
These cameras can be loaded with a memory card and you will be ready to take pictures.To understand what it takes to get the correct exposure of your photo, you need to have an understanding of the various elements involved in photography such as aperture and shutter speed.
In addition you also need to understand how these two elements work together to capture light in your photos.