For a modern photographer, photo processing is one of the most important elements in creating beautiful photographs. Of course, when you first come across digital photography, you can shoot in JPG mode and let the camera “make decisions” about things like color and contrast. However, this is not how brilliant shots and photos are made. It is still possible to create an outstanding image from a shot that may seem boring and poor at first glance.
But when you’re ready to take control of the quality of your images, it’s time to shoot RAW and fully customize the final look using a dedicated online tool. When you first try to shoot in RAW, you might think your images look a little gray and bland. This is because the parameters of saturation, contrast, image sharpness, which the camera itself sets in automatic mode, are now in your hands. Of course, this can be a little tricky! But the following recommendations will help you avoid the most common photo editing mistakes.
Table of Contents
Always try to get the best exposure when photographing. You will get the best results when RAW is shot with good exposure and when you rely on the light and shadow sliders for post-processing. However, sometimes you have the option to use the shadow slider to lighten the effect and get more detail in the dark areas of the image. Just be careful not to overdo it, or you will end up with an image that no longer looks natural. Contrast is a good thing! This is especially true when you have a reflective composition scene. Reflection should always be darker than a reflected object, as it happens in nature.
Another way to get poor-quality photos is to go overboard with saturation. This effect looks tempting; you just need to move the saturation and color slider. But again – just don’t overdo it. Sometimes adding saturation is not the best idea, especially if you have a scene containing many different colors. Instead, consider using the HSL (Hue / Saturation / Brightness) panel, select saturation, and use the target tool to add saturation to a single color in your photo. For example, you can add saturation to a background to draw attention to a flower.
First of all, never use the Sharpness tool to fix a photo that is out of focus. This approach will hardly work. Sharpening will not fix a blur. However, if your image is in focus, adding a little bit of sharpening can make it extra crisp and realistic. Again, consider adding sharpness in a selected area, especially if you have areas of the scene that are intentionally out of focus. Keep in mind that increasing sharpness will increase noise, which is another reason not to add it to the entire photo.
The frame tool is a handy way to accurately crop an image, removing unwanted elements from the edges of the frame and helping to align the horizon line. But you don’t need to use it by removing all the “useless space” in the frame. You don’t need the key object of the shot to fill the frame. Think about the balance between the space occupied by the object and the space around it. It doesn’t always have to be the same; follow composition rules when necessary.
Sometimes lighting requires a high ISO. You may need to use both wide apertures and slow shutter speeds for photography given that increasing ISO is the only way to get a good exposure. This is fine. Not all images need to look perfectly smooth, especially if there are a lot of details and textures in your shot. Excessive noise reduction can decrease details in areas that were previously sharp on purpose.
It is way easier to create impressive photos if you know what mistakes you need to avoid. Of course, it will become better as you gain experience, but theoretical knowledge and quality photo retouching software can do the service as well.