Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How I Edit My Photos

When I upload photos onto Facebook, it's no surprise that the quality drops. But that's okay. I deal with it.
I typically upload them into an album, and then I upload the edits into another album, one I made specifically for edited photos. Pretty often, I get messages from people asking what I do to my photos and what programs I use. It's kind of mind boggling, to be honest. I've seen professional photos and mine aren't there. But I figure I could just post this for the people who are curious.

I'm using a MacBook Pro and Adobe Lightroom.

First, I upload my photo into Lightroom.

All of my photos are shot RAW. Because of this I can change the white balance if I choose.
You cannot do this with JPEG.
I almost always select "Auto Tone". I can always undo it if I don't like it.

From here, I click "Develop". I can choose a preset if I feel like it, but I only use them if I'm wanting to achieve a certain look. There are hundreds of presets you can download for free online, or you can buy them.

Typically, I will boost up the blacks and contrast. I like a lot of contrast in my photos.

I also bring up the clarity. Sometimes the vibrance and brightness, but not always.

Then I always boost up the sharpening and detail. I also throw up the luminance to kind of remove the grain/noise. Not a ton, though. You don't want the photo looking like you smudged it all over the place.

You can end it here, or you can throw a vignette on it. For a vignette, I like using a preset. You don't have to, of course.

Then simply click File > Export.

Type in all the info you want/need.

Then you just click Export and wait for it to finish.
Pretty simple, not near as elaborate as most photographers, I'm sure. But it works for me.

And there you go. Easy peasy.
And now you know exactly what I do and how I do it.
Don't be scared to experiment with your photos. That's how you learn the best, in my opinion.

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