If you’re editing photographs for your website or social media, it’s best to first determine your style, which will help to keep your brand consistent.
Popular photo editing styles include:
- The retro/vintage or muted look. You can achieve this by adjusting your colour settings and saturation. These images are soft and often have a lot of light.
- The high contrast look. Dark darks and bright whites. You can achieve this look by adjusting your contrast and brightness settings. High contrast is bold and eye-catching.
- Black and white. Play with saturation and contrast to get the effect you seek. Good black and white photography features excellent lighting.
- Monochromatic. Focus on one colour. You can overlay colour on your image or adjust the colour and saturation settings to focus on one colour.
The ‘Rule Of Thirds’ helps to draw the attention of the viewer to a certain point in the photo, which makes it more pleasing to the eye. Here’s how you do it: divide your photo evenly into three columns and three rows, sort of like a tic-tac-toe grid. Where the lines intersect is where the focus of your image should be. You may have to crop your image to achieve the rule of thirds, so try to keep it in mind when you’re taking photos.
You can’t really fix an incredibly blurry or pixelated image, but if your photo is just slightly out of focus you can apply clarity or sharpness settings to improve the image’s appearance.
Lastly, if your photo is too bright or dark, you’ll want to adjust it. How bright do you want your whites, and how dark do you want your shadows? You can make minor adjustments with exposure settings, but your contrast and brightness settings will often do the trick.
All photo editing software comes with ‘save’ and ‘back/undo’ features, so don’t worry if you make a mistake. If you like something, save it before making further changes. Don’t be afraid to save multiple versions of the same image – this way you can look at them side by side and choose the best one.
Play around with editing until you find a style you like, and then run with it. And above all, remember to have fun!