Photography Tips Series: The Edits
Welcome to the last episode of the Photography Tips Series: The Edits! And the most entertaining one too! At least for me…
Remeber that if you have any questions along the way, I will always answer them! Just leave them in the comments below. Also, it’s a good idea if you pin to Pinterest (redundant), all of the thumbnails of each of the four posts in this series, so you can reach out to them whenever you need to. By the way, do you follow me on Pinterest already? Would love it if you do!
As I told you in the Basics and Settings episode, it is very important for you to shoot in RAW. But when you do, you will need an editing software to develop those RAW files.
In this post, I am going to explain how I do just that with my own photos.
WHAT I EDIT
Anyone has its own style and taste for colors, shadows, highlights, skin tones, etc. And you will discover your own style by practicing a lot (like everything in life). And by trial and error.
You’ll probably mess it up a few times before finally being comfortable with your results. Also, you’ll style will change and evolve. You’ll start liking how your images look with a cool tone and then you’ll hate it and dig hard on those warmer tones. It’s a never-ending process actually, but it is really fun.
PERSONALITY AND STYLE
Also, keep in mind that the editing process is what really shows the personality of the photographer (aside from the photo itself of course).
For example, I love to shoot my portraits at a very wide aperture, and I shoot them from a low angle. Many photographers won’t dare to go lower than F/4 and that’s fine too.
Irene Rudnyk which is a very famous fashion photographer and Youtuber actually stands on a ladder on each of her shoots because she loves shooting from a high angle and she shoots at a wider aperture too.
You’ll just have to practice and experiment to find exactly how you like to take and make your photographs.
The editing softwares I personally use are Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. And in this Photography Tips Series: The Edits are the ones I’m recommending too.
Also instead of a mouse, I use a Wacom Tablet. I find it SO much easier to edit like this I can’t go back to a regular mouse. Especially for skin retouching. It’s a life savior.
As I told you in the Storage and Backup episode, I go through my images with Adobe Bridge and separate the ones that I like in different folders.
When I have the final images ready for editing on my Selects folder, I open them in Lightroom.
What I do in Lightroom is basically process the RAW file and bring it “back to life”. RAW files tend to be underexposed, colors are off, desaturated etc.
So I correct the exposure, contrast. Usually bring the highlights down, the shadows up. I adjust the white balance, often to the warmer side. Correct the colors, etc.
I even have some presets that I made for myself and also some others that I bought from other photographers throughout the years.
Presets actually speed up your workflow when processing your images. Because they are like the perfect starting point and the perfect base for you to add the final tweaks.
People often want a one-click preset that correct and make every image incredible. But in fact, that is very complicated because every photo is taken in different light situations. Exposed differently. Have different colors, etc. So you will always have to adjust and tweak a little to achieve the best result possible.
When my photos are done in Lightroom I export them with a custom saving I made (1080px wide x 1350px high). After that, the files are no longer RAW files, they are jpeg.
Then I go ahead and open the photos that need it in Photoshop. What I mean by “need it” is because I only edit in Photoshop photos that have something in the background I want to get rid of. Or portraits for skin retouching basically.
The tools I use in photoshop for unwanted things in the background is the (M) selection tool, and then I delete with Content Awareness. Then I tweak as needed if this tool left any traces.
For skin retouching, I use a more professional approach. I use high frequency and separations method and dodging and burning. I erase any imperfections with the (J) Spot Healing Brush or the (J) Patch tool. And I use Liquify to correct any shape or form.
I’ll leave you guys with a quick video called; “Photography Tips Series: The Edits” (you would’ve never guessed that, right?) and it shows how I edited one photo I took in my neighborhood’s park the other day! Here a show a little of how I correct the exposure, white balance, etc.
Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to put it on HD and full screen. And I don’t post very frequently there, but while we are at it, maybe a “Subscribe” on my Youtube too?
And that’s it for the Photography Tips Series: The Edits!
If you have any question, please don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments below!
Also, let me know in the comments if you’d like to see a new Series focused on my step by step workflow in Lightroom and Photoshop.