6 things you SHOULD be doing when EDITING PHOTOS



this video is sponsored by Squarespace if you need a domain a website or online store make it with Squarespace so here are six things you should be doing when editing photos and it's not that you'll want to use all of these every time but there are some processes here that you may be overlooking obviously a lot of this would be better to do in camera but you don't always have that luxury at the time number one always consider cropping your images sometimes I think we can get into a bit of a preciousness mindset with our equipment maybe we paid out for a full-frame camera we want to use that whole full-frame and we don't want to crop it down to a third of what we paid for but you have no obligation to respect the sensor size or the aspect ratio Photography is about telling stories with images so do whatever you need to to make that image concise and resonant the content of your image is more important than the technical quality of it now you may be thinking I know how to crop my shots that's not a tip I need but do you really consider it often enough take a look at how severely cropped these photos by Arnold Newman are but consider how much impact they would lose if he decided that he wanted to get the maximum quality out of his shots by using more of the medium format negative take a look at how the cropping of this shot by Elliott Erwitt completely transforms this image so this is a good example of an image I would crop this is a photograph of a groom giving a speech but he's surrounded by quite a lot of space there so what I would do was I would probably put him in the rule of thirds crop down to about here straighten those lines up as well I'm just good putting around about there so his eyes on the top left third and that makes for me a much better image he's much more prominent in the frame and all that stuff that is irrelevant has gone out the shot this isn't a short I probably would cropped I quite like her small in the frame here but if I was gonna crop it I would probably again use the rule of thirds one thing to note here is that when we have a subject that we're placing towards one side of a shot it's generally a good idea to have them looking into the shot in this sense we can connect with the subject a little bit more because we're kind of seeing the space that they're looking into if we were to do it the other way around this is not only what you don't do but this can be used to show an element of mystery like she's looking out of the frame we don't really know what she's looking at so it adds a different feeling to the photograph one thing to be aware of in Lightroom when you use the crop tool if you press o you can cycle through different overlay that can help you determine where to crop if you hold shift to know then that will then take you into further variants upon each one one thing to note here is that experimenting with cropping your shots in post-production will help you learn to frame shots better at the time of taking them secondly before you do any other editing take your time to get your white balance absolutely as you want it your white balance is key to both how your photo looks and how it feels adjusting the white balance can completely change the meaning of a photograph when we think of white balance we normally think of correcting the image getting the color temperatures to match the true-to-life look of the scene but white balance can also be used creatively to dramatically alter the feeling of your shot a warm white balance can give your image a peaceful content or calm feeling like an evocative memory of a summer afternoon it can trigger feelings of trust joy and optimism a cooler greeny blue white balance can give your image maybe an uneasy or a sad feeling while we may associate a warm white balance with the natural warmth of the Sun or a cozy fireside a cooler one may remind us of scenarios like florescent strip lighting in a hospital or the eerie cast of moonlight or blue our that time after golden hour when the Sun is set and we've passed that transition from day and tonight it's always worth having a good play around with the white balance just to see how different your own wish could look now this is a good shot to explain what I mean about white balance this shot as we can see has a sort of greeny tint to it a good place to take a white balance reading from it's a white of someone's eyes with the eyedropper here and we click on the white of her eye then we get a very accurate white balance but what I want for this show is not an accurate white balance I want it to feel very warm I wanted to feel that kind of golden hour light so what I'm going to do is I'm gonna pull the temperature slider somewhere up around maybe a bit less than that somewhere around there so you really get that warm golden hour evening glow feel to the shot if you can't get the exact fill you're looking for with the white balance you can also go to the split if I pull these up now I've got that warmth again just through tinting the highlights to a kind of yellowy green and tinting the shadows to a kind of orangey color number three don't be afraid to selectively alter the exposure of different areas of your image in order to highlight specific elements so this shots also a good shot to show you how I would use dodging and burning so I'm going to do is they're gonna take the radial filter here and I'm going to draw a circle about that big around our subjects because I want this image to feel very very moody so I'm gonna change the effect to exposure and I'm gonna pull this down by almost two stops I think somewhere around maybe 1.8 and like that so now we've got a much moody a shot where our subject is completely thrown into this kind of spotlight of sunlight and all other elements in the shot are kind of fading off into darkness and this shot of our groom giving a speech is also a good example what I would do here is I would probably pull down the exposure to around about about a stop underexposed and then I would take the brush tool and I'd put that to about a stop to bring it back up to the right exposure I'd make sure the feathering was up pretty high the flow is almost up fully and I'm just going to paint in I'll groom here now you can spend a bit more time to get this done a bit more accurately but I think that's fairly good we turn that off and on we've brought much more attention to the groom in the shot there and it's not overly done it's not overly processed and that's the trick with this not to make it look like you've done anything but just to subtly draw your eye to a key aspect of the shot number four edit in 16-bit rather than 8-bit whenever you can then convert back to 8-bit let me show you why so I'm going to jump into Photoshop for this one so this image here is a portrait I took and it's in 8-bit at the moment we know that by this little eight up here 8-bit is what you normally use for uploading to the web but it's what a lot of images are stored in is standard format basically the 8-bit means you have 256 colors per channel which is a lot of colors but you can run into issues when editing for example here if I were to put a bit of a vignette on here to highlight her face up the levels a little bit and you can start to see some banding here so I'm just gonna add another levels adjustment layer just for the purposes of showing this on YouTube because the compression doesn't really show this very well so if we zoom in to a hundred percent you should be able to see this banding very clearly the reason this banding is here is because we've got an adjustment layer on top of an adjustment layer on top of an adjustment layer which is something you may well do when editing a photo but each time we have an adjustment layer we're doing things like we're taking the range of colors from this whole 256 per channel here and crunching it down to this tiny little section of it and then editing on top of that and then on top of that again so by the time we've got to this stage we've lost so much color that we are getting bands of color so what we need to do is change it to 16 bits and 16 bit rather than having 256 colors per channel has 65,536 colors per channel which is a lot more to change it to 16-bit you go up to image and then mode and then down here you see it's 8 bits per channel changes to 16 bits per channel and watch what happens so now all that banding is gone and left a smooth transition of colour but you don't want to save a 16-bit image because I knew fewer applications will be able to read it and you won't be able to save it as a JPEG or a whole host of other file types that don't support 16-bit you want a final 8-bit image so this is the clever part the banding is only appearing because we're pushing and stretching the colors in an 8-bit image 8-bit has enough colors to create a good quality final image it's just the editing part that's the problem so while still in 16-bit we flatten the image and then we convert back to 8-bit and it looks great now if we look at these images side by side we can see the difference in result from what editing in 8-bit and then it's seeing in 16-bit produces and these are both now 8b images so hopefully you can see that because YouTube's compression isn't the best but I highly recommend editing in 16-bit wherever you can number 5 level and straight in your photos there will be occasions when you won't what that may be you want a more natural look it all depends on the meaning of the context of your photograph but if you're taking a shot of the horizon you probably want it straight if you're taking a geometric shot of a building or a wall you want those right angles you want those perfect horizontals and verticals you can do this in Lightroom and in Photoshop and other editing programs let me take you through some images this can be something really quite simple just like this shot of beach here if I hit my crop tool we can see that horizon isn't quite straight if I hit my angle tool here and just draw a line along the horizon the image just straightens up and just as that little level of detail that little finesse that just makes it a better shot it was something like this shot this was taken in a design studio it was for a design magazine and everything is meant to be very very rigid lots of horizontals and verticals so what we've got here is we've got a bit of barrel distortion with the lens and just some slight angles changing very very slightly so what you want to do is just tighten all this up just a little bit so what I'm going to do is I'm going to enable profile Corrections on my lens and that's just gonna correct those distortions there and in the transform section I'm just going to click full here there's enough information in this for it to work out all the horizontals verticals and just gives you that little bit extra tweaking just so you've got these perfect right angles in there for this sort of shot that is quite important and lastly and probably most importantly make sure whenever you're editing before you finalize anything you take a break and you come back to your image go away and make a coffee whatever just as long as you take your eyes away from the screen for a while and come back as soon as you do that you will be able to see things you could not see when you were initially doing the editing we all have a tendency I think to overdo things a little bit because when you overdo editing what you see when you look at the photograph is editing over what the content of the photograph is and that may be your objective and that's fine but make sure that is what you want people to take from the photograph often a subtler approach is better so a massive thank you to everyone who supports this channel on patreon I really do appreciate it and every little bit helps you help keep this channel going if you want to help you can go to patreon.com/crashcourse pondering this video I took on a sponsorship with Squarespace because I've been using them for several years and I've got three sites with them they're basically an all-in-one website building platform you do it all three browser they've got a beautiful range of templates that look great basically straight out the box but you can also customize them it can even add a bit of CSS code in there if you want to tweak them a bit further if you know a bit more it's very easy to use they've got 24/7 customer support a lot of professional photographers use them so I highly recommend them if you want to try them out you can go to their website and you can start a free trial getting expert in any credit card information or anything and if you like what you've got then you can go to Squarespace com forward slash Jamie Windsor to get 10% off on your first purchase

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Great! Thanks for creating your videos Jamie. I've been shooting SLRs since the 70s and know good advice when I hear it.

  2. Loved this video… and content like this is why I subscribed. I've never been afraid to crop, but sometimes I don't when I should. I like accuracy, but this has encouraged me to experiment more.

  3. @jamiewindsor The edit you did at 5:50 with the Adjustment Brush. How do you decide on doing something like this in lightroom instead of photoshop?

  4. First guy who talks about the break, tip No6. I often have to do it, I go away for a bit or see other pictures, great help indeed 😉

  5. Wow well done great vid with some very good tips! My favorite is definitely the last tip. I cant tell you how many times ive finished editing an image and then came back to it later and thought "wth was i thinking? This looks awful!" And then tweaked it to make it better. 👌Subbed

  6. Mundblowing helpfull tips. Thank you so much. And by the way, awesome intro with the text. I´m gonna subscribe you.

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