When you are taking a photo, it’s always good to achieve as much as you can in-camera. However, we’re not always in the position to do it, and sour photos often call for at least a little enhancement in post. In this video, Jamie Windsor suggests six things that will raise this post-processing part to a higher level and help you make the best of your photos.
To make things clear, not all of these techniques should be done in every photo. But they may be some things that you’re overlooking, yet they can really help make your photos stand out. Make sure to watch Jamie’s video, as he gives plenty of wonderful examples to illustrate his points.
1. Consider cropping your photo
Personally, I know many photographers who avoid cropping because it makes the image smaller in size. However, photography is all about telling stories with your images, not making the most out of the camera’s resolution. “The content of your image is more important than the technical quality of it,” as Jamie puts it. So, don’t be afraid to crop your images if that’s gonna add to the story.
2. Use white balance to make your shot “feel” right
Adjusting the white balance determines both the look and the feel of your photo, and it can completely change its meaning. White balance isn’t only about making the colors look true to life – you can also use it creatively. A warm white balance gives your image a warm, calming feel. It can trigger the feelings of trust, joy, optimism, and remind you of a warm summer day. On the other hand, a cool white balance can make the viewer feel uneasy or sad. So, play around with white balance to determine the “feel” of your image.
3. Selectively lighten and darken (dodge and burn)
Selectively lighting and darkening particular areas of the image helps you tell the story better. It can make your subject stand out more and subtly draw your subject’s eyes to specific parts of the image.
4. Edit in 16-bit
Jamie suggests editing in 16-bit rather than 8-bit whenever you can, then converting back to 8-bit. Basically, 8-bit means that you have 256 colors per channel. This can sometimes pose trouble when you’re editing because it will create color banding. To avoid this, you can switch to 16-bit, which has 65,536 colors per channel. Go to Image > Mode > 16 Bits/Channel, and you’ll see that the banding is gone.
However, you don’t want to save a 16-bit image, because there will be few applications able to read it. Instead, flatten the image with all the adjustment layers you made, and then convert back to 8-bit and save it.
On this link, you can read more about the difference between 8-bit and 16-bit color depth.
5. Level and straighten your image
If there is a horizon in your image, make sure to level it and straighten your image. This also works if you have a geometric shot of a building or a wall. In those cases, properly leveled horizontal and vertical lines look best.
6. Take a break
Finally, when you think that you’re done editing, take a break. Step away from the image before finalizing anything and get back to it after a while. This will enable you to see things you missed the first time and correct any mistakes that you might have made. We tend to overdo the editing a little bit if we spend too much time working on a photo, so it’s good to step away from it and view it later.
Do you apply these tips when editing your photos?
[6 things you SHOULD be doing when EDITING PHOTOS | Jamie Windsor]