Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Photo Editing

A really important lesson about photo editing for me has been not to worry about it too much. Sure, if you spend more time tweaking the settings you might find a better look, but it's not worth it. This is especially true when you're still learning how to edit your photos, and don't feel confident with the tools.

The key is to remember that this is not the last photograph you'll ever take, and you're in the learning process. There will be other, better photos down the line, and you'll have more experience editing, so it will go quicker and you'll get better results.

If instead you put too much expectation on one photo, you'll stress yourself out trying to make it perfect. I find that if I spend too much time on a photo, I start to get less and less clear about what looks good and what doesn't. My instinct for the photo starts to fade. Worse, I get discouraged and may never finish it, which means all that effort was completely wasted.

Often I find myself looking at a photo that could benefit from some complicated edits. It's important to stop here, though, and ask yourself, is this photo worth the effort? Most often it's not. And if the photo isn't amazing, it's going to be all the harder to stay motivated as you pain-stakingly edit it. So if the photo isn't great to begin with, you should probably just move on.

The only exception to this that I'd make is that it's good to get practice, so if the photo is halfway decent, maybe it's worth going overboard on it just for the experience.

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