Everyone imagines professional photographers taking the perfect photos straight out of the camera. They wonder how we can get our images to look so nice when shooting, but good news: that's now how it's done. Taking the perfect photo is only half the battle. Once you download your images and open up Photoshop, the real magic begins.
Editing (or toning) is a very powerful tool in photography: an edit can either butcher a great photo or give new life to a terrible photo. Some professionals spend hours upon hours editing a single photo; this is especially true for magazines, advertising and other publications. It's always best to try and make your photos as technically perfect straight out of the camera, but a lot of times that isn't possible. When in doubt, always shoot slightly brighter, because it's easier to pull down a highlight (brightness) than it is to bring up the shadows.
Editing Gear I Use
- Photoshop subscriptions from Adobe start at $9.99/month (gone are the days of buying the program outright)
- You'll obviously want a computer capable of running Photoshop (I use a 27" iMac), and it's always better to edit photos on a desktop rather than a laptop
- Your computer will most likely have a memory card reader built-in, but if not there are plenty of options available to purchase
- The first step to any photo is to make sure you shoot in RAW instead of JPG.
- Opening your RAW photo will bring up 'Camera Raw' - this is to edit as much of the basics as possible before Photoshop.
- One of favorite techniques is to bring the 'Highlights' all the way down, and the 'Shadows' all the way up. You can obviously adjust the level of intensity, but it gives a great, natural look to photos.