CHAPTER 6-: This is the sixth chapter of “A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Professional Photographer.” – Do you want to learn what it takes to edit photos like a professional photographer? If YES, here are 5 photography basics, tricks and techniques for beginners.
When you look at photographs, it seems as though photography has been around for hundreds and thousands of years in the history of humanity. Compared to all the other professions that are deeply rooted within our culture, the art of photography is a fairly new one.
Since its inception, photography has progressed in leaps and bounds. It is an ever changing and ever evolving art that is constantly looking for new pathways to become more advanced and accurate at depicting the beauty of life, nature and earth.
Photo Editing Is No Child’s Play
The recent developments in technology have ushered in a new era in the field of photography. The days of film photography are slowly but surely waving us goodbye. We are currently living in the age of digital photography which is rising to unprecedented heights in terms of technique, creativity and visual appeal.
To sustain the demand for progress and advancement in the field of photography, photographers have now resorted to the art of photo editing. Photo editing is something that a lot of people, including beginner photographers and traditionalist photographers, do not take seriously enough.
For most people, photo editing is a frivolous activity that is exclusively reserved for the fanatical users of social media platforms who cannot help but post pictures of themselves, their friends and families that are extravagantly edited to impose a heightened sense of visual appeal among their social media followers. If this is your perception of photo editing as an aspiring photographer of the future, then it is high time that you change your mind set about photo editing.
What is Photo Editing?
Photo editing is more than just a way to express playful creativity over the internet. In the context of modern day photography, photo editing skills are nearly as important if not equally, as expertise with the camera is.
If you want to succeed in the photography industry which is gradually inclining towards digital photography by the minute literally, you need to acquire in depth knowledge of photo editing, its various aspects, its features and the possibilities it opens up for turning an ordinary picture into one that is worthy of receiving praise and applause from people around the world.
Photo editing is not just an optional activity for photographers who are looking to add some glitter and glamour to their photos. Instead, photo editing is an art that must be mastered by photographers in order to improve their picture quality and establish themselves as modern day photographers in the industry today. It is safe to assume that photography and photo editing go hand in hand, and can quite easily be labelled as two peas in a pod.
Why Do Photographers Take the Pain to Edit Pictures?
If you fail to pay attention to photo editing, then you will find it extremely difficult to cope up with your competitors and your rivals in the modern day professional photography scene. While you will be toiling away to capture the perfect image at the perfect time of the day, they will be making hundreds and thousands of dollars by simply removing the defects from their mediocre photographs and highlighting its impressive features to make it appear far more stunning and visually appealing than it was initially.
The perks of photo editing are quite evident and are many in number. The following are just some of the advantages of photo editing that will streamline your career in photography and help you produce high quality images that will improve your credentials and add some shine to your resume.
a) Brings Out the Best in Pictures
Previously, it was believed that a film was an empty canvas for photographers to express their creativity upon. Nowadays, a photograph can be seen as that empty canvas where photo editors of the highest calibre can showcase their brilliance. Once a picture has been taken through a camera, there is a lot more that you can do with it to improve its features, accentuate its visual appeal and add a new dimension to the picture itself.
For example, if you take a simple picture of an everyday toy racing car, it will hardly turn heads or raise eyebrows regardless of how much effort you have put in to the snap. With the help of photo editing, you can transform the picture of a toy racing car to a picture where the object resembles a real life, captivating and spectacular racing car that will force people to marvel at your work. This is the magic of photo editing. It can literally turn an insignificant object into one that is worthy of people’s admiration.
b) Saves Time
As mentioned before, you can spend an entire day trying to capture the perfect shot of a flower while another rival photographer can take a few average snaps of the flower and have it edited to exude photographic brilliance. As a professional photographer, time will be a luxury that you will not always be able to afford. You will constantly be on the run, in pursuit of images and scenery that have the potential to grab people’s attention and surprise them beyond their expectations.
Under such circumstances, you will be compelled to divide your time between your priorities and thus you will certainly not have enough time in your hands to take repeated shots of the same object till you achieve perfection. This is where photo editing comes into play.
You can simply take a few decent shots of a flower for example, go back home to your photo editing software and then turn an average garden flower into one of the most marvellous spectacle of nature that your followers would have laid their eyes upon. In doing so, you will be able to save yourself a ton of time, which can then be invested in other more productive activities.
c) Broadens Your Skill Range
The more technique you can put on display with your photographs, the more likely are you to earn the pleasure of your critics and your followers. People have begun to appreciate photographs where state of the art photo editing skills are clearly visible. In the minds of the general masses as well as those who have sound knowledge in the art of photography, a well edited photo is one that reflects the stellar ability and the expertise of the photographer.
Being in the field of photography is often not too different from being in the field of show business. Similar to how entertainers strive and struggle to impress the crowd, you will have to do whatever it takes to make the crowd respond to your works of photography. Photo editing allows you do to just that.
Now that you have a clearer understanding of the importance and the significance of photo editing, you need to acquire in depth information about what photo editing really is and how you can use it to make the most out of the precious pictures that you take. One of the reasons why novice photographers shy away from photo editing is due to their lack of competence in computing.
With that being said, you do not have to be an IT specialist to understand the basics of photo editing and apply them to your pictures. All you have to do is take a crash course on basic photo editing and you will be well equipped to polish up your photographs through the magic of photo editing.
As strange as it may sound, there is an entire industry that is dedicated to the art of photo editing. This is the reason why you have countless photo editing apps, software and online photo editing websites that you can utilize to get your photo editing tasks completed.
Photography Basics for Beginners – 5 Basic Photo Editing Techniques You Must Know
Before you can wrap your head around the enormous sphere of photo editing, you need to acquaint yourself with the various levels of photo editing. Just like any other form of art, each stage in photo editing requires a different degree of skill and expertise. As a beginner photographer who is starting out on his journey towards photo editing perfection, you are required to learn about no more than 5 primary forms of editing.
It is only when you have mastered all these 5 techniques that you should proceed to the advanced levels of photo editing, which require a tremendous understanding of photo editing, photography and visual effects. For the first few years in your stint as a professional photographer, you can rely on the 5 basic techniques of photo editing to get your across the line and satisfy your employers or your clients.
The first adjustment that a photo may need is cropping. A lot of the times, a photograph will contain one or more unwanted objects around the main object that you are trying to highlight. The purpose of cropping is to eliminate these objects that are near the edges of the photograph.
The reason why these objects have to be removed is because they divert the attention of the viewer from the main object and also reduce the visual appeal of the whole image. You will hardly come across photo editing software that does not allow you to crop the photo, as this is the primary feature of any photo editing application.
As a professional however, basic cropping will not do the trick. You must learn how to resize the entire photo according to certain specific needs. In order to ensure that the main object remains at the centre of the photograph, you need to make a close observation of the cropped areas and then resize the photo till there are equal spaces around the image.
2) Colour Balance
Colour balance is of the essence when it comes to photo editing. Colours are what photographers are all about. If you do not get the perfect colour combination on your photograph, then it will be impossible for you to produce an impeccable photograph that people will admire and marvel at.
Even though there is a plethora of extraordinary advanced cameras available in the market today, it still does not change the fact that even the best photographers in the world struggle with the lights. This is why you need photo editing to edit the colour saturation, brightness of the photo and other features concerning the colour of the photo. This is your first step towards making a worthwhile attempt at achieving absolute perfection with your photographs.
The colour balance is a high variable property of photographs that depend entirely on the object that is being photographed and the surround environment that is included in the photograph. If sombre and subtle moods are associative with the image, then colour combinations and brightness must be toned down and kept on the low. On the flipside, if you are trying to portray diamond jewellery in the form of product photography then the use of vibrant colours becomes imperative.
3) Colour Correction
Colour correction is a term that has a multi-faceted meaning. It can mean several things at one, therefore you have to be careful about what exactly you are trying to achieve with a colour correction feature in a photo editing software or application. Colour correction is done primarily to change the colour of an object or reproduce the same object in a myriad of different colours. With colour correction, you can select particular portions of an image and have those portions coloured the same.
4) Photo Retouching
Photo retouching is a must have feature in the photo editing software of a photographer who is trying to achieve perfection. Regardless of how talented and skilled you are, you cannot expect each and every single one of your photographs to turn out flawless.
All raw shots have a number of imperfections that need to be dealt with and removed. These imperfections can come in the form of dirt, dust, scratches, spots, blemishes and a number of other defects that make photographers cringe and frown. With photo retouching, you can remove the dirt, spots, blemish and dusts from a photo. This allows the photo to become more pure, striking and animated.
5) Visual Effects
Visual effects are extremely important to modern day photographs. Photo editing applications and software offer you a wide range of effects to choose from. You can create your own custom effects and have them applied to the photograph.
You can also acquire the effects by a number of different plug-ins. The purpose of adding the effects is to increase the intensity of the photo and to enhance the mood that you are trying to portray through the image. If anything, visual effects are incorporated into pictures to make them look far more attractive.
What is the Best Photo Editing Software?
As a photographer, the output of your job is not only dependent on the quality of your camera, lighting system, and your expertise (ability to position your clients) but also the type of photo editing software that you make use of. There are several photo editing software out there and they all have one or more unique features.
It is possible that you must have tried your hands on some of this photo editing software. It is also possible that you didn’t get an optimum satisfaction. Whilst some of these software may come across as complicated, yet some may be so easy to go about. A good photo editing software is supposed to bring out the very best in your photo shots, not undermining the fact that it should also be easy to use.
It is important to mention that some of these software are free to purchase, whilst others are sold for an affordable price. If you Google for free photo editors online, you will see several of them but you need to be sure that they will serve the purpose you want to use them for.
So, if you have been tinkering with finding what the best photo editing software is and do not have an inkling of what it is, then you may want to take the following information pretty seriously, as you will really find not just one, but all immensely helpful. Now let us quickly consider 7 best photo editing software;
i. Photoshop CC (Photoshop Creative Cloud
Photoshop is one of the leading photo editing software out there and it works conveniently on Windows® and Mac®. With 29.99 USD or 17 BP per month, you can buy Photoshop CC software. One thing is certain; if you purchase Photoshop CC, you can be assured of an excellent edited pictures when you take your time to study how the various features work. Photoshop CS7 is good, PhotoshopCS6 I great, but Photoshop CC is absolutely brilliant.
If you have a mobile device like Android and IOS and you are looking for good photo editing software that you can get for free, then you should god for Pixlr. This mobile photo editing software comes with over 600 unique effects. One good thing about Pixlr photo editing software is that it is similar to Photoshop and it has easy to use interface and can do virtually what any other photo editing software can do.
iii. Serif PhotoPlus X7
Serif PhotoPlus X7 is a good alternative for Photoshop. This software works pretty well on Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP platform. You can procure Serif PhotoPlus X7 photo editing software for 100 US Dollars / 80 British Pounds. Please note that Serif PhotoPlus X7’s interface requires that you study it properly before you are able to master it and get the best out of the photo editing software.
iv. GIMP Photo Editing Software
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is one of the free and reliable photo editing software available online and it is designed to work on Linux, Windows and Mac platforms. This photo editing software has a very capable inbuilt file manager works pretty well with most of the popular file format available.
v. Photoshop Elements 13-: Photoshop Elements 13 is designed to work on Linux, Windows and Mac platform. It is currently being sold for 52.99 British Pounds. One good feature that Photoshop Element 13 has is the ability to merge photos together with easy.
vi. Adobe Lightroom-: Adobe Lightroom is designed to work on Windows and Mac platforms and you can purchase this photo editing software for 8.57 British Pounds per months. Most photo editors prefer to use Adobe Lightroom because it can easily tackle complex image management jobs that can’t be done on Photoshop.
vii. Dx0 OpticsPro 10
The Dx0- OpticsPro 10 might be one of the complex photo editing software available out there. However, one thing is certain, it is perhaps the best raw converter you can get. Dx0 OpticsPro 10 is designed to work on Windows and Mack platforms. With 129 US Dollars / 99 British Pounds, you can purchase Dx0 Optics Pro 10.
Would these photo editing software be really helpful? You bet that these are world class photo editing software that has helped others greatly. You too can benefit from the vast features of these software as you decide to purchase any or more of them.