Many beginner photographers find photo editing (post-processing) scary and a lot of them believe editing is about manipulating the photos. This is far from the truth. Photo editing is simply about making already nice photos even better. It’s not about cheating. There are several reasons why you need to learn photo editing if you want to take your photography seriously. With today’s modern cameras nearly anyone can take good photos. However, the days are gone when photographers accepted their images straight out of the camera as the final result. Almost every appealing photo you see online or printed are edited to some extent.
Three steps to great photos
- Understand the technical basics. How to use your camera and camera settings for properly exposed and sharp images.
- Composition techniques. Learning how to get the most out of a scene and create well-balanced composition is essential in photography.
- Post-processing. Image editing is like “the icing on the cake”. You add the final touches and make the picture your own.
If you master the first step only, your images will be just fine. If you master the two first, it’s even better. But to stand out from the crowd, you need to master all the three steps. In this article, I will focus on photo editing tips and techniques. Photo editing doesn’t have to be complicated. Digital photos need some level of editing unless you save your photos as JPG files. JPG are processed in camera and are supposed to be final. This approach gives you very little control of the result.
RAW files available in most DSLR cameras are unprocessed and must be edited. If your image is poorly composed or have technical issues, post-processing will not make it great. Like in cooking, it’s hard to achieve an excellent and tasty result if the “raw materials” are not first class.