November 11, 2015

Exposure, contrast, warmth, definition.  What do these words have in common?  They all deal with that special art that's becoming very prevalent in the age of technology: photography.

Whether you want to pursue photography as a profession, take photos for a blog or website, or just like taking pictures of things, it's important to know some basic photo editing skills because--sadly--most pictures are not perfect quality when you initially take them.  I'm no photography master, but I've picked up a few easy tips from blogging.  No matter what photo editing system you use, remember to ask yourself four quick questions as you're editing:

Prep For A Day

Light Or Dark?
The single most important factor of photo editing is the exposure, or bright light, that you'd like to add to your photo.  Keep in mind that a bit of exposure is almost always a necessity for photos to achieve that nice, professional look.  Decide whether you want to crank it up for a sun-drenched snap or leave it lower to allow for more color contrast.

Prep For A Day

Warm Or Cool?
After you've tuned the exposure in your picture, fixing the temperature will be much easier.  If the photo's color scheme consists of a myriad of bright hues, a warmer temperature will probably look best; if the colors are soft neutrals and blues, chances are that a cooler temperature is the right choice.

Prep For A Day

Fade Or Sharpen?
Although these tools can add the finishing touches to any picture, be wary of over-using them. Gradually sharpening a snap can make it look much higher quality, and fading a picture gives it that trendy theme that Instagram and Tumblr are dying for.

Prep For A Day

Over-edited Or Under-edited?
Once you've edited your picture to your satisfaction, step back and look at the finished product.  Does it look too edited?  Are the colors distorted and oddly tinted?  If so, turn down the exposure and temperature for a quick fix.  On the other hand, does the picture look too plain and shadowy?  Adding more exposure and getting rid of some contrast will help.

If a picture can speak one thousand words, think how many a wonderfully edited picture can express!

What are your photo editing secrets?



  1. Love this post! I typically like my Instas to be full of light and warmer tones!


    1. I usually gravitate towards the cooler tones for Instagram; thanks for reading, Katie!


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