editing photography

Editing Photography 101: 5 Basics You Need to Know

You may have taken a beautiful image, but it could be better. Whether you’ve taken a portrait or a landscape, there are ways to improve the image with editing basics. Very simple changes can make the photo have a larger impact.

If you’re new to editing photography, it can seem like a daunting task, and you might be afraid you’ll ruin the original photo. But that is often not the case. Learning how to masterfully handle these basics will only benefit your photography.

Here are five photo editing basics every photographer should know.

1. Crop the Image

You’ll want the most focus on the subject of your image. While the rest may be interesting, it’s not always as important. Cropping is also important to remove any blank space from an image or make the image fit a certain size.

You’ll find a crop tool in almost all photo editing software, and you’ll often be able to drag the corners to crop the image at your desired size.

2. Straighten the Image

Lines are an important aspect of all art, but especially photography. The way your image is lined up can tell a story. For most images, especially landscapes and portraits, you’ll want clean, straight lines to help the image make an impact.

You may try to hold your camera straight, but after uploading the image, you may notice that it’s a little crooked. You can fix this with a straightening tool in photo editing software.

3. Adjust Exposure and Levels

Adjusting the exposure and levels has to do with the light and shadows in an image. If a photo is too dark, you may need to adjust the exposure to make it lighter. And if it’s too bright, it might need to be adjusted to be darker.

You can also target certain parts of the photo with levels. With this tool, you’ll often see three arrows corresponding to the dark, mid-tone, and light parts of the image. Moving these arrows across the graph will change the exposure levels.

4. Modify Contrast and Saturation

Contrast refers to the difference between the darkest and lightest parts of the photo. Turning down contrast lightens the dark areas, while turning it up means fewer details in the image.

More saturation makes the colors in an image more vibrant. While this can be a useful tool, going overboard on saturation can mean losing the details in the image. It’s always a good idea to tone down saturation than add more.

5. Remove the Background

Removing a background might be a little more advanced, but it’s also important to know. You may need to remove a background from one image to overlay it onto another. Or you may want to get rid of unnecessary objects in the background of an image.

Instead of doing this manually, look for tools to remove background from an image online.

Editing Photography 101

When you see professional photography, you’ll often notice how clean the composition is. In most cases, that image wasn’t captured that way. It’s rare to have a perfect image that requires no editing.

professional photography

Most photos will at least need the basics, if not more. These five basics of editing photography will come in handy no matter what your subject is. And remember that photography and editing are skills that need practicing to master.

Looking for more tips to get you in touch with your creative side? Check out more articles on our site today.

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