If you’re giving some thoughts to developing your craft as a professional photographer, you should start with the basics and move forward to more complex things. Once you’ve mastered the basics and learned how to harness the power of various lighting techniques and different composition tricks, it’s time to master your camera.
This is where you’ll encounter the most significant pain of all photographers in the making – how to make those photos turn out the way you want them to. You continuously get disappointed when comparing your photos to some professional photographers. Well, don’t let it get you down because there is a way to fix this.
The very essence that you are missing here is stepping up your photography game by becoming a Photoshop master. This is the ultimate tool that every photographer uses to edit their pictures to perfection. In the world of digital photography, the post-processing phase is literally everything.
Whenever you think that you’ve reached perfection, trust us, you can always improve it a little more. Even the most perfect photos can be enhanced with a little bit of photo editing magic. Here’s how to master Photoshop editing in five easy steps.
A How-To Guide to Photoshop Editing
Even though the internet is swarming with photo editing tools, it’s pretty much an unwritten rule that most photographers start their editing journey with the ultimate weapon: Adobe Photoshop.
This tool allows you to do everything from basic editing to taking your photos to a whole new level. It’s an intuitive and powerful tool that will enable you to perfect your photos. If you plan on becoming a professional photographer, it’s paramount that you learn the essentials of Photoshop editing.
With all this in mind, here are five steps that will allow you to harness the power of Photoshop and edit your photos to perfection.
1. Enhance composition by Cropping Images
Just like in life, it’s the little things that make you stand out from the rest. This same principle can be applied to editing. Believe it or not, something simple as a crop can make a huge difference.
Basic cropping is probably the most user-friendly photo editing trick that you can learn. Here’s a fact for you – cropping is one of the most effective methods to enhance the photo’s composition. It allows you to create a more dramatic effect, increase the sharpens of the subject’s focus, and remove all unnecessary elements from the photo.
How to use the crop tool:
- Open the toolbox and choose the crop tool
- In the drop-down menu, set the aspect ratio by choosing from the Present, Original Ratio, or Unconstrained options
- Achieve the crop effect by dragging the edges of the photo
- Press Enter or click Save to finalize the cropping session
Your Photoshop editing magic starts with cropping as it helps improve the composition of your photo. Both resizing and cropping allow you to achieve the desired photo composition.
2. Correcting the Exposure
Making the correct exposure for a picture is quite a challenge, but everything is possible with a little bit of editing magic. Since Photoshop provides a wide range of adjustment tools, you can bring out more detail in any photo by correcting the exposure.
You can find all of these useful features in the Menu Bar under the Adjustments option. There, you’ll find the following features:
- HDR Toning
Features like brightness, contrast, exposure, shadows, and highlights are pretty basic. You can adjust them by only moving the sliders to the right or left. However, if you want to do something more advanced, you’ll need to learn all about histograms – visual charts that show the tonal range of an image in the edit.
These charts allow you to make adjustments with more precision. Curves and Levels, as well as HDR Toning, are among the more advanced features that give more depth and clarity to your photos. They allow you to create more vibrant and bright images.
3. How to Make Color Adjustments
You can avoid making any color adjustments by adequately setting the white balance feature on your camera. To make it clear – improper and incorrect white balance gives you color cast, which significantly affects the contrast, saturation, and vibrancy of the photography.
Most of the time, the original photos you take usually have an improper coloring that needs some adjustments. That’s why Photoshop has tools that help remove that effect and achieve more accurate colors. If you just have to deal with highlights, mid-tones, and shadows, we suggest you use the Color Balance feature.
However, if it’s a specific color in question, the Selective Color tool would be more appropriate. It allows you to take a particular color and only change its features without affecting the entire image.
You can also achieve color correction by using Channel Mixer or Hue/Saturation and Vibrancy. If you need to darken or highlight specific areas in a photo, use the Burn and Dodge features.
4. Removal of Unwanted Spots like Blemishes or Sensor Dust
Once you are done with color correction, it’s time to move to more selective corrections. In case that dust particles ended up showing in your photos due to sensor dust, you can quickly get rid of them by using the following features:
Spot Healing Brush Tool
Simply adjust the brush size and choose your type – Proximity Match or Content-Aware.
Healing Brush Tool
Adjust the size of your brush and select Sampled to be your source. If you want to change the source, use the Option+Click feature to make any clean spot as your new source, and drag the cursor to the wanted area that needs fixing.
Select Source and then mark the spot on your photo that needs correction by using the cursor and simply drag the selection to the desired color and appearance.
Clone Stamp Tool
Alt-Click to clone a spot without blemish and adjust the Opacity and the brush size. Paint over the blemish with your sample by dragging the cursor around it.
These tools allow you to get rid of any imperfection that might stain your photos.
5. Blurring and Sharpening Filters
Your perfect photo is almost done. All that’s left is to apply blurring or sharpening filters. Even if your photo is entirely focused, you can still apply sharpening to reduce softening and point out the details.
Here’s how to sharpen a photo:
- Select Reduce Noise;
- Create a new layer of the same picture;
- Paint over the detail you want to select by using the Brush Tool;
- Choose the Sharpening tool you need and apply the selected filter.
So, as you can see, using Adobe Photoshop, although it may seem complicated and confusing, is simply a thing of practice and knowledge. This photo editing program can become a potent tool in your hands if you master its features.
When it comes to Photoshop editing, there is another option you can consider. If you need professional services, but you don’t have time to learn the ropes on your own, you can always hire a professional photo editing company.