We all make mistakes (and learn from them), and we’ll make so many different ones on our learning path. But some mistakes are more common than others. In this video, Serge Ramelli talks about the five most common editing mistakes photographers make in Lightroom. Do you recognize your old or current self in any of them?
1. Too much clarity, contrast and texture
People tend to overdo clarity, contrast and texture in landscape photos, especially when there are clouds. Personally, I can often be guilty of this one. But when clarity and contrast are cranked up, the clouds look too defined and unnatural. When you look at the photo you can tell that it’s been edited, and that’s definitely not the point.
2. Too obvious dodge and burn
Even when you gradually build up brush strokes, it’s easy to get carried away while dodging and burning, especially if you spend a lot of time editing one photo. Serge points to two key things to do when dodging: reduce the opacity and flow of the brush, and decrease its exposure. Also, look at the photos next day. If you can see the brush strokes, it means that you went too far.
3. Colors from another planet
Even when photos are edited and saturated, the colors should still be natural. Or as Serge puts it, the viewer needs to connect them to the experience on Earth. So, for example, if you’re editing a sunset, don’t add colors to it that don’t exist in nature and that weren’t there when you were taking the photo.
4. Not using the standard crop formats or not fixing a crooked horizon
This mistake comprises two mistakes in one. The first one is a crooked horizon. It’s sometimes not easy to spot as the angle is subtle, but this is why you should always use the Angle Tool within the Crop Tool and straighten out the image.
Another mistake is using a non-standard crop format. And if you want to print your images for sale and exhibitions, you should stick with the standard formats, most common being 4×3, 4×6 or 16×9, and 4×5 or 1×1 if you post your work on Instagram.
5. Oversaturated photo
When you learn a new editing trick, it’s easy to overuse it (I’m sometimes guilty of this). And if you’re editing landscape photos, these editing tricks often end up in having an overly saturated image. It helps to check out the photo before and after editing (press “\” on your keyboard), and if the change is too striking, you can tone it down a bit.
In my opinion, all these mistakes can happen no matter how experienced you are. We edit photos step by step, little by little, and we can get carried away. To minimize these mistakes, I believe that it helps to view the image before and after from time to time. And of course, to return to it the next day and view it again.
Do you sometimes make these mistakes?
[The 5 Biggest Mistakes in Editing in lightroom! | Serge Ramelli]