Things to Remember While Editing
So now that you have created a masterpiece, set up the lighting perfectly and taken a photo with your camera on a tripod, you must be ready to share your photo online or add it to your portfolio, right?
You’re forgetting about a very important step in photography. Post processing.
What is Post Processing?
Post processing, otherwise known as photo editing, is the process through which you make adjustments to your images after you have taken them. Knowing the best camera settings and nailing the light control are crucial for taking good photos, but post-processing also becomes unavoidable if you’re aiming to share the best possible picture of your hard work. This is where you carefully analyze the images on a big screen with accurate colors within a professional photo editing software and make sure that everything is as you want it to be. And if it’s not, well, then that’s what image editors are for.
But before you delve into the world of post-processing, we have here some important things you should remember while editing your photos:
1. Less is More
First of all, always remember that when it comes to post-processing, the lesser you do to the photo, the better it usually is. The final image should look as natural as possible, and a person looking at the photo shouldn’t be able to judge right off the bat that you’ve heavily processed the shot. So make simple, basic adjustments like increasing or decreasing exposure as needed, adding a touch of contrast for some added punch, and fixing the white balance as per available light.
2. RAW is Ideal
A RAW photo is one that contains all the information your camera sensor has captured from a scene, without any compression. This is important, as it allows you to edit your photos in a much more flexible manner than you’d be allowed with a compressed format like JPEG. All changes that you would make to a RAW file should be non-destructive, which means they won’t affect the image quality from a resolution point of view.
3. ‘More’ is Possible
If you have somehow really messed up taking the photo you wanted to take and, for some reason, you cannot take it again, then you should know that a modern RAW image editor allows you to do a lot with whatever you have. Changing exposure and contrast is simple, but you can also adjust the overall hue of different colors, add or reduce sharpness, reduce the amount of visible noise, add more layers on top of your image, use filters and presets, adjust saturation, control highlights and shadows, and even make adjustments to selected portions of your photo instead of the whole frame. So don’t worry too much if you haven’t taken the perfect photo, chances are that you’ll be able to salvage the image quite a bit through post-processing.
4. Overboard is Never Good
When editing a photo, especially of a piece of art, you should make sure that it doesn’t end up looking artificial. So whichever tools you decide to use, just don’t go overboard with their application. People tend to use sliders such as Clarity and Structure without even considering that they make the image look unrealistic if used too heavily. So before doing something like that, just be sure that your image showcases the product properly and doesn’t make it look like a ‘posterized’ filter has been slapped on top.
As simple as it may seem, post-processing of photos is something that requires a lot of work and patience to get the hang of. You need to know what each of the tools in any given photo editor does so that you can use the ones you need as best as possible. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with photos that look weird and don’t do justice to the art that you’re trying to capture.