Hi guys! I am super pumped to be guest-blogging today and teaching you all about editing! I photograph a few different things from seniors to weddings, but today I brought in a senior photo as an example. So today is all about How to get a Clean Edit for your Picture!
So with any photo, I always stress DO NOT RELY ON EDITING EQUIPMENT. All caps, repeatedly. Over and over I will say it. A good rule of thumb is to compose as best you can, get the lighting as close as you can IN CAMERA so you can spend less time editing.
I usually start my sessions about 2-2.5 hours before sunset which is great towards the end but sometimes I still have so much light. So, for this photo I had an assistant use a handy dandy reflector using the translucent part in the middle to try to make the light less harsh coming onto my subject.
So my ISO for this image was 200. My aperture was f4.0 and I was shooting at 1/125 of a second (which I recommend never shooting lower than this if you’re not using a tripod, it greatly increases the possibility of camera shake which is no good and takes the sharpness from your photo).
You can see my photo is sharp at 100% in this extreme close-up of my senior.
Also, remember that everyone has their own way of doing this. I, for example, always start off by cropping the image until the surrounding area looks the way I want. For this photo though, I liked the way the background dropped off, & I didn’t want for the crop to be as tight as getting rid of the background would make it.
Therefore, I extended the background. I used the lasso tool, circled the top part of the image where there was green grass and not the yellow color I was wanting. Then i right-clicked with my mouse and chose fill > content aware. It then filled the remaining area with the surrounding color/texture that was already surrounding my subject.
Next, I always make sure the photo is exposed to my liking. Again, no one right way to do it. I prefer to adjust my curves as it is a bit more precise. A lot of people like the “s” curve technique (feel free to google, I’m terrible at explaining) but this photo didn’t need a lot of work in my opinion so I’ll just post a screen shot of what I saw.
Which resulted in this!
The last things I do are edit the photo for any distractions. These usually range from blemishes to lint on a shirt. I zoom in to at least 100% and use a couple of different tools. For individual blemishes I usually use the spot healing brush tool. Once I have the blemishes picked up, I look around for anything else that can be removed through either that or the clone stamp/patch tool. Both of these tools also do a great job at using the surrounding areas to make an image look its best.
I prefer not to smooth skin out too much because I feel it makes the photo look inauthentic. I definitely used to be a fan until I realized that the smooth texture just isn’t necessary for faces. Most people want a photo that just looks like them on a good skin day. Not as if they’re airbrushed. I leave that for fashion portraits.
After that I’ll just sharpen the image and voila! There you have it! A clean edit! I’ll post another couple of examples as well! Sometimes, editing is honestly my favorite part of photographing. I love presenting a finished product.
I am Tayanna a 23-year-old photographer working from Kansas City, MO. I have my bachelor’s of science in photography with an emphasis in portraiture. My focus is photographing people in all stages of life from newborn on in a way that focuses on capturing my client’s personalities.
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