Advertising
Advertising

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.

      Advertising

      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.

            Advertising

            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.

                  Advertising

                  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.

                          Advertising

                          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

                                More by this author

                                20 Excel Tricks That Can Make Anyone An Excel Expert 24 Useful Tricks for the iPhone And iPad Most People Don’t Know 15 iPhone Alarms That Wake You Up Right Away 15 World’s Best Free Online Music Streaming Platforms 25 Hidden iOS 8 Tips & Tricks That You’ll Regret Not Knowing Now

                                Trending in Technology

                                1 5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun 2 10 Best Task List Apps Out There for Getting Stuff Done 3 20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently 4 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast 5 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2018 Updated)

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Last Updated on August 29, 2018

                                5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

                                5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

                                Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

                                Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

                                Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

                                1. 750words

                                Advertising

                                750 words

                                  750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

                                  750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

                                  750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

                                  2. Ohlife

                                  Advertising

                                  ohlife

                                    Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

                                    Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

                                    3. Oneword

                                    oneword

                                      OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

                                      Advertising

                                      Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

                                      4. Penzu

                                        Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

                                        With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

                                        Advertising

                                        5. Evernote

                                        Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

                                        Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

                                        For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

                                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                        Read Next