Editing Photos

Today we will edit our best photos and post before and after pictures. Not all photos need to be edited – sometimes you’ll take a near perfect picture.

Not sure what needs to be edited? Consult this list of common photography mistakes: Common Photography Mistakes

The most common ways you will edit your photos are cropping the image and adjusting the levels.
You can view instructions on how to crop your image here: How to Crop a Photo
You can view instructions on how to adjust levels here: How to Adjust Levels

Sometimes part of an image will already be sufficient exposed (is bright enough), while part of the image is too dark. In this case, you would want to lighten selective areas of your photo with a technique called compositing. Here is how you composite a photo:

  1. Go to the “paths” window. Click the “new path” button.
  2. Go to the toolbar on the left side of the screen. Select the pen tool. Outline shape you want to lighten.
  3. Once you have closed your shape by clicking on the first point, go back to the paths window. Right click on the path you have created, and click “make selection.” Feather the selection by 1pixel (this will soften the edges of your selection).
  4. Control + click to copy your selection. Control + click to paste your selection.
  5. Go back to the “layers” window. Click the new layer you have created that contains only the shape you want to edit. Edit the levels on this layer only.

Here is a photograph with potential, but a few issues. The napkin bin is distracting, and the flowers, which should be the focal point of the image, are too dark. By cropping the image, and creating a composite image where I have only lightened the flowers, I have improved the photo:

city_grill_original   city_grill_edited

By the end of today’s class, you should create a new blog post with the following:

  • Before and after images of any photos you have edited. (You will need to save your edited photo as a png or jpg to be able to upload it to your blog, but make sure you are also saving a photoshop version of the image so you can continue to edit it at a later date if necessary.)
  • A few sentences under each photo describing your editing process and which photography errors you fixed with these edits.

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