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15 Common Photo Editing Mistakes to Avoid

15 Common Photo Editing Mistakes to Avoid

Editing photos can be fun. When you are working to create articles for newsworthy publications you want to assure your photos are top grade. There are several common editing mistakes you can make that will make your photos look surreal and your work unprofessional. If you want classic photos that jump off the page or screen, here are 15 rules you need to follow to avoid common photo editing mistakes.

15. Less is more

The old rule of thumb still stands and is a good base to use when photo editing. Too many edits will make your photo unnatural, blur lines and create color contrasts that dull the photo. You don’t want to fall victim to over-editing. The absolute best photos start with a good photo, when your camera is set right and the lighting is perfect. We know this can be a hassle, especially when we are new to taking photos and want to really exercise our editing talents.

less-is-more

    14. Best skin smoothing techniques

    When you want to smooth skin features, take it slow and work next to the original image so you can easily identify when you have over-edited and the skin begins to look plastic. The plastic Barbie doll look, while at one very brief moment in time was fashionable, lost ranking long ago and is a very common mistake that new photo editors make when trying to get the appearance of perfectly smooth skin.

    ba

      13. Over-cropping can be tragic

      If you are working for a client and want to set up the picture to be displayed perfectly, make sure you know exactly what photo application will be used. The best picture is the full picture; print it out and see what you have got before you cut and edit. When working for a client make sure that you know how they will use the photo to make sure you get the perfect crop.

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      over crop

        12. Understand layers and actions

        Another huge mistake made when editing is not using the layer and action techniques correctly. This simply makes the photo look like a child was playing with your editor. You can get superior quality from a photo when applying professional layering techniques, but this takes a lot of practice–make sure you put in the time.

        layers-photoshop-1

          11. Selective coloring is over

          This is a great example of how selective coloring can just make your photo look weak and unprofessional. The contrast is blurred by the muddy back image and the color is too much, has too crisp of an outline, and simply just does not pop like it should.

          color

            10. Keep backgrounds crisp

            We all love those timeless photos where the surreal background creates the perfect fade into the main item in your photo, but this can be a very tricky effect to create in editing. It can often look very unnatural and says more about over-editing than taking good quality photos. If you want a fade in, it is best to set the camera and get the quality you want when you take the shot.

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            background

              9. Muddy colors don’t make good black and whites

              Crisp black and whites will always be a favorite but if you have a photo with muddy colors and want to make it a black and white to enhance the detail, you are out of luck. No amount of editing can create the crisp lines you will be looking for. Transferring muddy colors to black and white just creates a muddy gray photo.

              muddy color

                8. Know your curves

                When you go into adjusting colors and shadows, you need to understand the curves and how to layer and create the contrast within the photo without creating a collage of overlapped shadows and blurred colors. Curves take a lot of practice. Most editors, when new to photo editing programs, will either avoid or overuse the fascinating feature. Remember: practice makes perfect.

                curves-color@2x

                  7. Keep monochrome features light

                  When getting the perfect monochrome feature, less is often better and you want to scale it down as little as possible. Using deep sepia tones are often unnatural and will create a photo that is muddy and overdone.

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                  monochrome

                    6. Sparkling eyes can be too much

                    Getting the perfect sparkle in the eyes can be tricky. The less you do, the more natural the effect. You do not want the figure in your image to look like a creature from another planet with overdone eye features. Keep it simple.

                    3b

                      5. Bright white teeth that jump off the page

                      Having a bright smile with pearly white teeth can be engaging, but if you over-whiten the teeth it is very easy to spot and makes the photo look fake. You do not want the focal point of your image to be a huge set of blaring white choppers. Once again, less is more.

                      1352047876352_tampa-Dentist-300x272

                        4. Extractions can be the death of your photo

                        Unless you prepared your original photo using a green screen and other props, it is almost impossible to extract an image and make it fit the way it should, even for seasoned professionals. It is best to try and create the photo you want the first time around.

                        overcrop

                          3. Go easy on textures

                          If you are a big fan of the gaming effects and lots of textures, then of course you can play all day with the neat features and new textures you will find in editing programs. However, for a realistic photo effect, textures can be too much.

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                          texture

                            2. Incredible HDR effects

                            Images with HDR effects can be mesmerizing. When done properly, it can take an average photo to an artistic level. This is a really neat tool, but takes a lot of practice to use. You need to set up the camera right when taking the photos to make sure they transfer to the HDR effect you want to create.

                            hrd

                              1. Know your editing program, inside and out

                              New users and veteran editors to often go gaga over new apps and features, and try too hard to incorporate them into photos too soon before they get the full aspect of the feature. When using any editing program, make sure you understand the feature you want to explore.

                              editing program

                                The basics of any editing program requires practice to manage. If you want to create the perfect edits and make your photos pop with a professional zeal, you need to do your homework. The most common mistakes are made because the user simply does not understand the program and either tries to over use them or does not know how to fix the simplest issues and does not use the helpful features available. To avoid mistakes and common errors, read the information and guides provided, watch the how to videos and practice, practice practice. Check some reliable free video editing program list here.

                                Featured photo credit: Photo Manipulation/AnNamir™ c[_] via flickr.com

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                                40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                                40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                                Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                                There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                                Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                                It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                                Productivity apps to help you get things done

                                1. OmniFocus

                                This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                                Download it here.

                                  2. Forest

                                  Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                                  Download it here.

                                    3. Things

                                    Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                                    Download it here.

                                      4. 30/30

                                      Recently covered here at Lifehack

                                      , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                                      Download it here.

                                        5. Any.Do

                                        A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                                        Download it here.

                                          6. PocketLife Calendar

                                          This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                                          Download it here.

                                            7. Asana

                                            We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                                            , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                                            Download it here.

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                                              8. ToDoist

                                              This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                              Download it here.

                                                9. FlowTasks

                                                From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                                Download it here.

                                                  10. Calendars 5

                                                  This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                                    A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      12. Due

                                                      A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        13. Checkmark 2

                                                        I use this app

                                                        for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          14. TeuxDeux

                                                          Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            15. Wunderlist 

                                                            Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                                            Download it here.

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                                                              16. Nirvana

                                                              For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                17. Priorities

                                                                An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                                                  18. Productive

                                                                  With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                                    You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      20. Streaks

                                                                      This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        21. Remember The Milk

                                                                        Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          22. Day One Journal

                                                                          When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                                            23. Evernote

                                                                            Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              24. Pocket

                                                                              You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                              Download it here.

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                                                                                25. Sync.Me

                                                                                This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  26. Droplr

                                                                                  One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    27. Dropbox

                                                                                    Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      28. iDolly 

                                                                                      In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                                      Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        29. Soulver

                                                                                        It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                                          30. Captio

                                                                                          A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                            31. Drafts

                                                                                            A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                              This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                              Download it here.

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                                                                                                33. Doodle

                                                                                                This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                  34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                                  I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                    35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                                    A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                      36. GoodReader

                                                                                                      This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                                        37. LogMeIn

                                                                                                        Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                                          Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                                          38. 1Password

                                                                                                          There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                                            39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                                            You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                                            All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                                              40. Truecallers

                                                                                                              Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                                There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                                                Reference

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