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Photo Editing Tips & Tricks

Lesson 14 from: Photography Essentials: Getting Your Best Shots

Sean Dalton

Photo Editing Tips & Tricks

Lesson 14 from: Photography Essentials: Getting Your Best Shots

Sean Dalton

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Lesson Info

14. Photo Editing Tips & Tricks

Lesson Info

Photo Editing Tips & Tricks

now, I want to take a little bit to talk about editing. And editing is so important for photographers nowadays. I mean, you have so much creative control over your images and honestly, a lot of my kind of digital signature, my uniqueness and my photography comes from my editing style. So everyone's gonna have a different editing style. Some people want a more realistic look, some people want a more stylized look with a lot of really crazy colors and just a very different style. Something very far from reality. It doesn't matter whatever you want, whatever you're drawn to go after it, edit a photo however you want to edit it and don't let another person tell you that you're editing style is wrong because at the end of the day it's not. So for this lesson, I'm gonna be using adobe lightroom and I'm gonna walk you through two different photos that I photographed. This first one was photographed um at about six in the morning um at a mountain temple in Thailand. Really, really awesome, bea...

utiful place is called, It's in Chiang mai Thailand and I photographed this monk from behind. Um and he's going through one of his morning prayers. And then the next image here is just a uh a cup of coffee that I photographed in New Zealand about a year ago and a simple shot. But I'm gonna show you how we can completely transform it into something really cool. So starting things off with this image from Doris utep here. First off, just such a cool shot here, I shot this at 35 millimeters f 1.4. Um I. S. 0. 100. So it's 1.4 so you can see here, this is all nice and blurry and he is nice and sharp. But one of the first things I see here is the compositions pretty kind of bad. This like pull here, this door doesn't look good. So the first thing I'm gonna do, I'm gonna tap this here, click this year and then I'm gonna go down here, click four by five. This is gonna be posted on instagram, that's why I'm cropping it four by five aspect ratio. And then I'm gonna drag it in here and just completely get rid of this side thing here, drag it down a little bit. I want it symmetrical so I want him in the middle here. So I think that looks good. And then I'm gonna scroll down here, I'm gonna skip all these speeches, I'm gonna go to transform and I'm gonna hit auto now. Otto is going to align everything so it just looks more symmetrical. So now we have him in the center with his painting and these pool pools here and everything just looks really good. So now I'm gonna go back up but I'm gonna start with the actual edit. So this is the basic editing section, The white balance. I'm gonna leave it where it is. I think it looks pretty good. Might come back to that. I'm gonna reduce the highlights, maybe 15 and increase the shadows, maybe about the same 15 this is just going to increase our dynamic range a little bit. Get more details in the shadows, more details in the highlights. I'm gonna go down here to whites. I think I'm gonna leave Wyatts maybe go up just just about five, just a little bit and then I'm gonna leave the blocks where they're at. Now clarity is something that I used to increase, but now I actually like to decrease it Maybe about 15 and then I'm gonna show you how I make, I'll make him stand out later on now scrolling down here to the tone curve. This is where you can really come up with some really cool looks and I always like to do what's called a basic s curve and s curve is what a lot of photographers are using nowadays. Um And it just gives your photo kind of a soft look while still maintaining high contrast in the mid tone areas. So I'm gonna click here, I'm gonna drag that down, that's going to make our photo darker, moodier. Come back to the middle, bring that up to the middle there. Um and then I'm gonna bring the highlights up here, the third point and then I'm gonna go ahead and drag the corners down and this corner, I'm gonna drag it up and this is going to soften out those blocks, make them nice and soft and really easy on the eyes. So even though the photo is really dark here, we have really dark areas, it's nice and soft from that tone curve there. That's a basic s curve there. You can see it kind of looks like an S. And now we're going to scroll down here to the h sl color sliders Hugh is referring to basically what hue of that color is. So is the red, is it more pink or is it more orange? Is the blue more green or more purple etcetera? So you can see what it does to just this bag here? Pretty cool. Huh? We're not gonna do anything too major. But one of the first things I'm gonna do is go to saturation. I'm just going to de saturate the orange a little bit. I think it's pretty strong. And then I'm also gonna see saturate the red a little bit. I think the red is really strong in that carpet just a little bit because now we're getting a little bit too de saturated of a look at our image, so maybe just de saturate the red and then less of the orange. So we have this standing out less but the oranges really standing out here. I think the blue, I think every other color is okay here and then we can go into the hue and kind of adjust the colors if we want to. But honestly, I think the camera did a really good job of capturing the colors here in this image. Um so I'm not really gonna change much in regards to the hue there now scrolling down to lens correction, I like to click remove chromatic aberration, but I don't always like to click enable profile corrections. So profile corrections is gonna basically look at your lens and then get rid of any kind of distortion around here. But I often like to have a little bit of natural setting. Um but I think actually in this case it does look good with the profile correction on it, kind of brightens everything around and then I can add my own form of vignette in here. When I scroll down here, I can bring this vignette down and that will just add a little bit of darkness around the corners, give it more of a moody look And for those of you that have seen my instagram, you guys know, I love that movie look. So I gotta have that moody look now the calibration here, you can really transform the colors in your image to something pretty wild. But as I stated before, I kind of like the colors that we have, I want it to be more of a realistic look. So I'm not gonna use these sliders here, but if you wanted to, you can really come up with some really cool color combinations, but now we have a pretty good edit. So there's the before, there's the after, before the after um And then we can just kind of go in and make small changes. I always like to come back to the basic sliders and make small adjustments um and just make sure everything looks good and it looks where it needs to be. So maybe I'll come in here, adjust the temperature a little bit. I'm also going to reduce the vibrance a little bit, I think it's a little bit vibrant and the last thing I'm gonna do is add a selective adjustment brush here, Bring the clarity up to 25 or so. And then I'm gonna paint his back and that is just gonna make sure that he is nice and sharp and in focus and all the details on him but the rest of the image is kind of blurry, um low in detail so we can really focus on him specifically. But that's how it ended this photo. So there's before, after before and after. I think that looks pretty good. And that's a photo I would definitely post on social media. Nice, dark moody. Look now moving onto this image, this is an image I photographed like I said in new Zealand and it's a good photo. Looks pretty cool. Um And now to edit this photo, I'm gonna do the same thing, I'm gonna go in, I'm gonna crop it, make it four by five aspect ratio. I'm gonna crop it here and then I'm also gonna straighten it to make sure the coffee cup is nice and straight enter there. Alright we got a pretty good, pretty good composition there. I'm actually gonna start with the exposure, I'm gonna increase the exposure because it's a little bit dark. This image is a little bit dark So maybe just .30. And then I'm gonna increase the warmth a little tiny bit because I think this photo will look good, a little bit warmer. I'm gonna come down here, I'm gonna bring down the highlights maybe 15. Same. Same like the last photo, same with the shadows, bring those up a little bit, increase our whites here a little bit just because it's really gonna make this cup stand out. And then we can also kind of lower those blocks and that's just gonna add a lot of contrast and give it just a bolder look that looks a lot better already that it looks pretty good um clarity. I'm gonna leave clarity where it is, I don't think we need to lower it because this is already pretty soft. This proto by the way was shot at millimeters f 1.4. So it's really, really soft because it was shot at 1.4. So all this area nice. Now to focus and this is nice and crisp, nice and sharp. We have. Supreme focus in this image. Alrighty, that was a dumb joke. All right now we'll come into the tone curve here, do the same thing, I'm gonna drag this bottom point down, make a point in the middle and then also make a point up top and now you can see what this is doing to our image is getting real bold now really high in contrast. So I'm gonna soften it up by increasing this corner here and then the same thing with the highlights, bring that down a little bit. So we got our s curve there. We can always come back up and increase our exposure if we need to and kind of fine tune the basic edits. I always like to kind of come back to those because you know the tone curve is gonna affect this, the colors are gonna affect it. It's all gonna kind of affect each other coming down to the the color H. S. L. S. Um Honestly I don't think there's a lot of adjustments that I would make to this image. I like all of the colors here. I think they all look pretty good. Um We can try to adjust the luminous, maybe increase the red a little bit just to make it stand out. Um But for the most part there's not a whole lot I would do here and that's okay. You know a lot of the time cameras do a really good job of capturing color and there's not a whole lot you need to change coming down to the lens correction. Um I'm gonna leave it off in this case but I am gonna brighten the photo a little bit, a little bit more here. 45. Bring the blocks down a little bit. So we have a nice high contrast look. So there's the before, there's the after before after. I think that looks pretty good. Maybe I'll have been getting but now what I wanna do is, you know, we have this window here and we can see that there's a lot of light coming in onto the cup but it still is really dark. So now we can at a graduated filter here and I'm gonna drag it over this part and then I'm going to increase the exposure here and I'm gonna bring in a lot of light through that window and it looks totally natural. It looks like there's a lot of light naturally coming through that window, but little do you know, it's from a graduated filter and then we can go on the other side and go the other way and make it darker. And this is called burning and dodging and it enhances the highlighted areas and the dark areas, the image to just make the image look more dynamic. So now we have a nice dark area here, nice bright area here and the divide is right in the middle. Um and I think that is a good edit. That's an edit that I would totally post. Um so here's the before, here's the after, here's the before here's the after dramatic difference and I think it looks really good. So these are just basic editing tips guys, I mean there's so much you can do with these programs. I just wanted to walk you through a few different edits just to kind of show you how I would edit a photo. Um and how I would go about that process. Usually I do edit with presets. I have presets that I use, I usually use one or two presets and I use them on all my photos so I can have that consistent look in my images. You guys want to check those out there, available on my website. Um Sean dot dot com slash Lightroom presets. So if you don't want to check those out, you know where to find them. But these are some basic editing tips and uh I hope that you found them helpful.

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