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Taking Better Photos Day 9 - Editing Your Photos

12 July 2011

Today is the last post of this series.  Whew...I'm tired :) 
So, you're capturing all these what?  If you're anything like me, your photos just get dumped into your computer and maybe make it to Facebook.  I am notoriously guilty for taking photo after photo and never developing them.  Well, I need to fix this and get some updated photos on my walls.  In order to do that, I want them to look as good as possible.  In comes editing.

First things first.  The best way to get great photos is to do your best to take a good photo straight out of camera (sooc).  I'm of the mindset that editing my photos is more of a digital darkroom than doing crazy in Photoshop.  Getting a good shot sooc saves time in the editing or post processing stage.  So, first I'm going to explain what I do to edit a photo and then I'll tell you about some other options.

I do have the full version of Photoshop, but don't use it for my photos.  I use a Photoshop program called Lightroom, and I absolutely lurve it!  If your going to invest in a program, this is my favorite.  The nice thing about Lightroom is that if you have a bunch of photos that you plan on editing with the same settings, you select them all and sync them.  That way you're not having to edit each and every photo.

Here's an example of what Lightroom looks like.  The before photo is my straight out of camera (sooc) photo.  You can manually make all kinds of changes if you want complete control, or you can use what are called presets.  In this example, the photo seemed a little dull.  All I did was use the direct positive preset and then clicked on auto tone.  That's it.  That's all I did for post process on this photo and look at the difference. 

If you choose Photoshop, that program has what are called actions, which are their version of presets.  Google's Picasa has all kinds of editing options.  Flickr, Shutterfly, Snapfish...they all have options.  You don't have to invest money into a program.  I know of many people that do their edits right in Picasa for web uploads. 

Today's moral is that post processing can enhance the amazing photo that you've already taken if you don't go overboard.  Keep it simple and enjoy what YOU captured.

Thanks for following along with this series.  I hope it was helpful!

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