Photo Editing Tips

Photo Editing Tips

In the digital age you as a photographer are expected to be familiar and knowledgeable with Photoshop. It can be argued back and forth if this is right or wrong and whether Photoshop is ruining photography. But we see Photoshop as a tool, just as the darkroom was a tool to manipulate images. So, in this post, we've put together a list of five techniques that will help you to get the most out of your images. As your photographic skills grow, your curiosity for better images will do too. The more you begin to observe the photographers that you look up to, the more you'll notice your own images improving! It's pretty logical really, but observation is something that a lot of photographers only glance over and fail to master. It's not copying either, it's more the idea of inspiration that you're trying to channel here. Post processing plays a big role in today's photographic society. Whether it's used subtlety, or for major composites, it's definitely an important skill to know. So, with all of that being said, you'll find a list below, almost like an over view of our photo editing tips or a beginner's guide to using Photoshop.

Tip #1: Camera Raw - This will be the foundation of your editing. You can't build a house without a solid foundation; well you can't edit a photo without one either! It is in Camera Raw where photographers tend to set up their images to be edited in Photoshop. The first thing on the agenda is to open your images in Camera Raw and adjust the colour temperature or exposure if you need to. Next up are the highlights... A highlight between -30 to –80 should see you straight. For your shadows, you're probably best-off setting that slider between +30 to +80. The aim for wedding photography, is for the images to appear natural, elegant and sharp, so it's important not to overdo any of your editing settings. You should aim for your highlights to be a little dull and shadows to be very flat and almost in the same tonal range as the mid-tones. This flattens out the image quite a bit, but don't worry, this is the foundation of your editing, so it will look unfinished at this point. 

Tip #2: Healing Brush - You'll like the healing brush rather than the spot healing brush because you can pick your own source points. You can use the healing brush to remove any pimples, inconsistencies on the skin, or any distractions on the background, which is perfect for a flawless wedding album. Throughout this post, this is probably one of the best photo editing tips that we could ever give to you, because a flawless wedding photo will go down a treat with your clients. That's exactly how they will want to remember their day – perfect. All you have to do is go through and get rid of any small distractions with this tool. It's amazing what a difference this can make when getting rid of distractions on backgrounds. Attention to detail is important here.    

Tip #3: Clone Stamp – Wedding photographers frequently use the clone stamp tool to lighten their images. You can use this on backgrounds and sometimes even on the skin! It's recommended that you use this tool around 15% opacity. This tool is better for those images that are classed as natural light shots, just because they tend not to have as much detail as other images and this produces a better result, rather than using it on an image which is darker with defined detail. It's just ones of those things that photographers have picked up along the way, so learn from their mistakes and bare this in mind when using the clone stamp tool.   

Tip #4: Layer Masks - We can't stress enough how important it is to learn layer masks. This is a major part of editing with Photoshop, it's kind of what these photo editing tips are all about when it comes to editing at a professional level. When you're toning or editing the image, you don't want the effects to always be global (meaning that it affects the entire image). To avoid making a rookie mistake, you can tone dodge and burn, or edit different parts of the image using layer masks. This is how the professionals do it! An example of how you may need to use this tool is as follows:  You could use the layer mask to adjust the Hue/Saturation. A lot of wedding photographers do this because usually hands, ears, legs, etc. are often different colours. You can change the Hue/Sat of a colour on certain body parts, and then mask out where you want it to affect. Awesome right? You can also tone the background differently than the subject sometimes. Remember: white reveals, black conceals. Just a little tip there for you guys to remember when reading these photo editing tips.  

Tip #5: Blending Modes This is an area that is commonly overlooked when photographers edit their images. Besides changing the B&W layer to a soft light blending mode, photographers sometimes change their curves layer to luminosity. By doing this you will affect the contrast of the image instead of affecting the contrast and saturation when it is set to normal. It's recommended that you open a blank layer, set the blending mode to colour, use a brush at a very low opacity (5-15%) and even out the colours on the skin or clothes by sampling a colour you like and painting over the colour that you don't like. There are 26 different blending modes. Feel free to try them out, experiment, and get creative with your editing! 

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Photo + editing credit: All images in this blog post edited by the team here at Weddit and photographed by Lukas Griffin. To get started with our wedding photo editing service, you can create an account here. 

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