Capturing great photos with your digital camera is only ever half of the story. The editing or post processing that you carry out afterward is often where the real magic happens.
Basic Image Enhancements
Using software programs like Photoshop can turn your nice photographs into amazing photographs if you know how. Gaining control over your post processing software to achieve the look you’re after is as important as knowing how to use your camera to capture the image the way you intended.
So once you have the camera controls and composition mastered you must next focus on photo editing mastery.
Photoshop and other similar programs are very powerful tools. The diversity of options though, is what makes them somewhat difficult to learn. However, I urge you to persist. Learn everything you can, and practise as often as possible. Play with your images and all the Photoshop tools as this is the way you will discover new things.
Lightening, Enhancing and Removing Unwanted Objects
Many of you may have mastered the basics of image editing, but you may still see images where you think, WOW, how did they get it to look so cool? In this new series I will be teaching through examples, how I brought about dramatic changes to some of my own images.
As all of our readers are at different levels of understanding when it comes to image editing, I will work on different examples from basic overall improvements to lesser known tricks for improving the general appearance of an image straight out of the camera.
I will also include some intermediate level articles such as how to turn a shot that may appear to be a dud, into something definitely worth keeping.
Creating a Mood or Concept
There will be articles aimed at the more advanced user explaining more creative ways of taking an artistic vision and turning it into a reality, including ways of turning a scene into something vastly different from the original capture.
The series will be called Before and After, and will teach through real life examples and screenshots to help explain the process visually, as this is the best way to learn about a very visual process.
I invite you to submit your images to be edited. For allowing your image to be used, I will provide step by step instructions so you can follow along at home with your own copy of the image.
At the end I will email you the finished image as created by me, so if your own attempts didn’t quite work out the first time you have your own version professionally edited to keep and print or do whatever you like with.
Creating a Fantasy Scene
This will be a totally free service, my way of thanking you for being a loyal reader and sharing your images to be edited.
VERY IMPORTANT: instructions on resizing and sending us your images.
In case you missed the instructions for sending photos for retouching. Please read the following instructions for emailing me your images for editing.
Please don’t attach copies of your photos in a message on one of our articles. It may be easiest for you but the system does not tell us who posted the photo. Also you are only able to upload a tiny version of your photo which is unusable for photo editing.
Plus the upload function on the message boxes is a bit temperamental and your photos don’t always upload properly. Several times someone has tried to upload a photo in a message that didn’t work and we have no idea who posted it to let them know we didn’t get it.
SO PLEASE ONLY EMAIL YOUR PICS
Also really important is the size of the image you send us. If it is too large your email program won’t be able to send it. If it is too small I won’t be able to edit it successfully. So if you want to send a photo to Before and After you will have to RESIZE IT.
To resize your photo and make it suitable for me to do a good job of editing it, follow these steps in Photoshop (or do similar in your own editing program).
1. Open your image in Photoshop. Click on the ‘Image’ tab along the top of the screen and select ‘Image Size’ from the drop down menu
2. In the ‘Image Size’ dialogue box the first thing you will see is ‘Pixel Dimensions’. Make sure that the longest side of your image is set to 1100 px. Don’t worry about the document size.
3. Go to the ‘Resolution’ box and change it to 300 pixels per inch
4. Click Ok
5. Go to Save As under the ‘File’ tab and choose jpeg. (Do not use the ‘Save for Web’ option for saving your image as it will save it for screen use only which is too small for editing )
Your image should now be the perfect size to email and for editing.
If you have any difficulties don’t hesitate to email and ask for help.
My email address is email@example.com
(P.S. We will never reuse your photos in any other way except for Photo Wow Factor articles and promotion of these articles on social media. Being photographers we would never try to pass off someone else’s image as our own as we would never want this done to us. We will only ever upload a small version of your image that is too small to be worth stealing by others.)
So keep your eye on your email box for our upcoming Before and after series.