Easy Photo Editing Tips & Post-Processing Techniques for Beginners
So you just captured a great photograph but you’d like to crop it down a bit or retouch a small blemish so that you can display it on a gorgeous mounted print or photo plaque. Well if you want to adjust the photo but you’re not sure how, we’re here to help with a few easy photo editing tips and techniques!
Find the Right Photo Editing Software
The most important factor in photo editing, is finding the right software for you. Not everyone is going to want to use Photoshop – firstly it’s expensive and secondly, you’ll probably need to do a course to learn how to use it properly. If you’re just an amateur photography enthusiast and simply want to get the best out of your snapshots, then you’ll want to start with something that’s cheap (or free even) and easy to use. At a minimum, you’ll want something that enables you to crop, rotate, resize and flip your images; remove red-eye and blemishes; sharpen images and adjust the contrast and apply effects.
How to Crop Photos
Let’s start with cropping. One of the key elements of photo editing is deciding what the picture’s main theme is. Let’s say you took a photograph of your travelling companion in front of some terrific scenery, but it’s not a very flattering picture of them. With some creative cropping, you can still save and share your picture without embarrassing your friend. You can either crop them out completely or crop the image so they are just on the edges and not the primary focus. You might want to focus on only part of the scenery. Play around with it, but make sure you’re working from a copy of your picture so you don’t inadvertently get left with something you didn’t want after overwriting the original.
Rotating & Flipping Images
What about rotating and flipping images? Well the rotating bit is easy – you were holding the camera landscape when you took the picture so it looks sideways! Rotate it 180 degrees to have it the right way up. Why might you want to flip a photograph? First of all, flipping a picture is turning it around so that you have the mirror image of it. While not ideal for pictures that have signage or text on them because it will be in reverse, it is a handy tool for when you are laying out pictures for printing in a book or album for example. If a person is on the left of an image looking towards the right, the picture will work well on the left hand side of a page as they will be looking in to the book. If however you wanted to position the picture on the right side of the page, it would probably make for a better composition if you flipped it.
Removing Red Eye & Blemishes
Of course you want any picture of a person to be as flattering as possible. That’s where things like removing red eye and blemishes come in. The red eye tool does what it says on the tin – it removes the red eye caused by the camera flash. Skin not perfect? Eyeliner smudged? That’s for the blemish tool to fix! It works by replacing the blemished area with an area of unblemished skin from the surrounding area. Do this in small bits otherwise you could end up with an extra eye in the center of a forehead where you once had a spot!