Photo tip of the week: make the most of your editing
When you take your photographs – whether it’s in the field or studio, or anywhere in between – you probably already take basic elements like composition and light into account. But here are five golden (and simple) editing rules to help you take your photography to the next level.
1. Correct your image’s exposure, contrast, colour saturation and colour balance. It might not always be obvious but your photo might be lacking in one or overdone in another. Sometimes small tweaks can make a big difference.
2. Try a monochromatic (black and white) variation, again experimenting with exposure and contrast settings for maximum impact.
3. If you’re cropping your image, make sure you apply the golden rule of thirds and that you still have balanced composition in your photo.
4. Play a little! Creating several variations of the same image with using these settings is the best way to get a sense of what you can achieve with your editing; you’ll learn first-hand what they can do and become more proficient at using them.
5. Make sure you judge the final image for its emotional impact; evaluate what differences your editing has made to increase its ‘punch’. Select the best version based on that criterion alone, rather than what you might otherwise consider as technically ‘correct’.
Remember: every shot you take is an opportunity to be a better photographer and you’ll also find being familiar with the basics of editing will enhance your pictures and picture-taking.
About the author: for the past nineteen years Peter Thiedeke has worked internationally as a photographer and creative director, producing inspired stills and moving image work across the physical and digital worlds, for advertising and digital agencies as well as small publishers, record companies, musicians, designers, web developers, entrepreneurs, architects, creative collectives, universities, galleries and museums.
Peter also lectures in photography at the Queensland College of Art and he’s currently on the judging panel for the Picture This Logan photography competition.