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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.

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                        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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                                Last Updated on December 30, 2018

                                18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

                                18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

                                No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. It’s undoubtedly allowed us to connect, perform, improve and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

                                If you’re not taking advantage of one of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

                                But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use? Well, this will depend on your needs, but we’ve put together a list of 18 of the very best time management apps that can help you with the most common time management challenges.

                                Let’s dive straight into the list…

                                1. Rescue Time — Use your time wisely

                                  If you have doubts that you’re using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. You may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

                                  Download Rescue Time

                                  2. Remember The Milk — Keep on top of all your tasks

                                    If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool which is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc. It helps you to manage your tasks easily, and reminds you of them – wherever you are.

                                    Download Remember the Milk

                                    3. Focus Booster – Boost motivation to complete tasks

                                      This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It’s designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures.

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                                      Download Focus Booster

                                      4. Toggl – Keep track of time spent on projects and tasks

                                        This is a great alternative to time-sheets, if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects. Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks, and then through analysis, working out how you can manage them more effectively.

                                        Download Toggl

                                        5. Dropbox — Store and send large files easily

                                          There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices – but Dropbox is free and easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go.

                                          Download Dropbox

                                          6. Evernote — Keep all your notes in one place

                                            Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes or images).  You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to really optimize your time.

                                            Download Evernote

                                            7. Mind42 — Focus on tasks at hand with mind mapping

                                              Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mind42 is the best free mind mapping app currently available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

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                                              Download Mind42

                                              8. SyncBackFree — Back up and sync your files effortlessly

                                                This free software allows you to back up, restore and synchronize your files easily. It not only saves you time now – but also in the future. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this pivotal tool.

                                                Download SnycBackFree

                                                9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) — Manage your to-do lists effectively

                                                  Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, to work with your to-do lists, and to organize your goals. This task management system helps you to target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives. It automatically generates to-do lists, with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                                                  Download MyLifeOrganized (MLO)

                                                  10. 1Password — Have all your passwords remembered

                                                    This app allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database, protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. It also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                                    Download 1Password

                                                    11. Pocket — Keep your eye on the ball

                                                      When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. Use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time which will not impact on your immediate work.

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                                                      Download Pocket

                                                      12. [email protected] — Boost your attention span

                                                        This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400%! Ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working or reading.

                                                        Download [email protected]

                                                        13. Launchy — Interact with your computer in a smart way

                                                          This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want.

                                                          Download Launchy

                                                          14. Forest — Boost your focus by growing a forest

                                                            This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track. The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                                            Download Forest

                                                            15. Trello — Track your projects in a highly visual way

                                                              This is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board (which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed) as your start, work on and complete the associated task.

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                                                              Download Trello

                                                              16. Wunderlist — Digitalize your to-do lists

                                                                Purchased by Microsoft in 2015, Wunderlist is an easy to use, feature-packed to-do list app. From planning a holiday, to sharing a shopping list with a partner, or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist will keep you on top of all your tasks.

                                                                Download Wunderlist

                                                                17. TimeTree — Have a shared calendar with your family

                                                                  This app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments. So, whether you’re planning a party, or run a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                                                  Download Time Tree

                                                                  18. Todoist — Capture and order all your tasks and activities easily

                                                                    Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list. It’s available via browsers and apps, and lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as given a due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                                    Download Todoist

                                                                    The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools. And the good news is – that many of them are completely free of charge! So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you – and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                                                    Oh, and one more thing… Take a look at a couple of our other articles that will help further streamline your time management:

                                                                    40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone and 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management

                                                                    More Recommended Productivity Experts on Lifehack

                                                                    • Leon Ho — The Founder and CEO of Lifehack, which he share productivity hacks to make life easier
                                                                    • Carl Pullein — A renowned productivity and time management coach
                                                                    • Mark Pettit — A Business Coach for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to achieve more by working less

                                                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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