. 5 PHOTO EDITING TIPS .
Photography is most definitely one of my favourite parts of blogging, whether thats the shooting and editing of the imagery, or the finished result on a blog, I love a beautiful shot and spend a lot of time and attention trying to get the perfect image for my blog.
I’ve already shared quite a few photography tips on my blog, from mastering your DSLR camera and learning how to shoot on manual, my top 5 photography tips, & how to take great blog photos, but today I thought i’d go a little more deeper into the topic and share my top 5 editing tips too (you can also read this post all about how I defined my editing style).
If you master your DSLR then post shoot editing isn’t something which you should overly have to rely on, as you’ll have hopefully captured a pretty good image already, however I do find there are always a few subtle tweaks that may need to be made, just to give an image an extra boost, so I thought today I’d share those tweaks I make & my tips for the editing process.
. SHOOT IN RAW .
The first tip for any blogger or photographer wanting to edit their pictures, is of course, to shoot your images in RAW. Shooting in raw not only gives you a super high quality image but also gives you the best base to start editing from, without ruining the quality of the image itself. You can far more easily edit images without affecting the overall quality and it means you also have the opportunity to save your files in a suitable format, e.g. optimised for web, or a high PPI for printing etc.
. FIND AN EDITING TOOL .
Quite clearly if you are going to edit images, you need to find yourself a tool which is suitable for your needs. Now I personally have both lightroom and photoshop but I absolutely never use photoshop. Despite how fantastic the software is, I find lightroom far easier to use, quicker & better for photo editing (opposed to graphic design etc). Lightroom is great for editing on mass & you don’t need training to figure out how to use it to it’s best, it’s extremely user friendly and has all the functionalities I need for my image editing.
However, you really don’t need pro equipment such as Photoshop or Lightroom to edit your pictures, I appreciate these tools come at a cost, and so aren’t accessible for everyone. But fear not, there are tons of online websites which offer an editing functionality & to be honest offer a really quality service which does rival that of the more high tech kit. Things like Picmonkey & flickr are really easy and free ways to edit your images.
. CHECK WHITE BALANCE .
One of the first things I do when editing my images is to check the overall white balance, whilst I shoot on auto white balance, sometimes you may still find your images have a slightly more yellow tone, or even a slightly too cold colour palette. Editing your white balance to ensure the perfect colour tone is always a good place to start in my opinion. In most instances this is a really easy and small thing to adjust, and usually doesn’t need any drastic changes.
. GET THE PERFECT LIGHTING .
Sometimes when shooting, the light will change and mean from image to image you may find your light balance has shifted slightly. Aside from correcting my white balance, I always like to ensure my ‘lighting’ is perfect, this includes checking and adapting a couple of things within my images – exposure, highlights, white levels & of course darkness levels. As well as these , you’ve also of course got exposure which sometimes may need tweaking marginally.
I aways try not to over edit my images as sometimes you can lose the overall affect & generally I never use filters etc. I find just small tweaks to boost highlights and white balance really give my images that bright light affect I like, whilst still maintaining the sharpness and quality that are really important to me.
As with shooting your images, editing images does also require a bit of a balancing act between all the settings, if you increase your highlights too much, you’ll lose definition, and if you increase exposure too much you’ll find images become pixelated.
My top tip for editing the lighting is to just go gently, don’t over edit, just make extremely small tweaks that create a very subtle change to your images.
. EXPORT FOR WEB .
My final tip when editing pictures is to make sure you save your images dependent on your purpose. If you’re printing super high quality posters then you’ll need to ensure your PPI (pixels per inch) are super high to ensure the resolution is maintained once the image is blown up, if you’re saving for web and a blog for example, you need to balance your resolution and image quality with file size (as this can seriously affect your website load times, trust me, i’ve been there).
For web you want your images to be anything less than 1mb (800kb ideally), I personally am useless at getting my images to a low file size as i’m so fussy with maintaining quality. But there are a few parameters which affect file size that you should consider when exporting, firstly Jpeg versus PNG (I export as JPEG as this loads faster for web), second of all image quality (this is a setting on Lightroom and I export with a quality score of around 75-85, as anything higher means images can be up t 10MB which is simply insane for web), thirdly of course pixel dimensions of your images and PPI (for print) / DPI (for web) too.
I always try and keep quality high, maintain as much resolution as possible by exporting with as high pixel dimensions as possible without affecting file size too much (NB: really you only need your image pixels to match that of your website pixel space, e.g. a width of 1040px if your blog width was 1040px), and also maximising for web & screen. Theses settings are specific to lightroom (and very similar for Photoshop), but even on the free online providers you’ll be able to adapt quality & file size before exporting.
So the top tip for exporting is to balance quality and resolution with file size, you need file size to be as low as possible, but without the quality affected!
So there you have it, 5 photo editing tips, based on what I do when editing my own images. I’d love to know if you have any other tips or advice when it comes to editing images?