Lighting: a fickle friend indeed. This one thing can make or break a picture, taking it to a level of awesomeness or dragging it down to the depths of the damned depictions. Trying to find goos lighting can be one of the most challenging parts of taking a picture. Sometimes you want lots of shadows to make a picture dramatic but all you get is a bright sun that just won’t cooperate. On the contrary, sometimes you want the sun to shine or maybe even leave a sun spot on your setting but you can’t find the bright little guy anywhere. Its just a hard time. Except of course when the planets randomly align and you get the perfect picture without even trying 😉 But how can you fix an image up to get it where you want it? The answer is on of my most dreaded tasks: editing your pictures.
Editing is a skill that every photographer needs to attempt to learn. You don’t have to be the master artist, but knowing your way around a basic editing software can never hut. A major problem with editing is when things turn out looking fake or obviously edited. And truth be told I haven’t truly figured out how to keep this from happening myself. But I do have some ideas on how to, hopefully, prevent fake looking photos for beginners.
I myself am a very amateur editor, only understanding the most basic of pre installed applications and services. But I have had some people give me great tips over the years that have helped me further my skills, going form no clue to “Okay, I kinda sorta understand how to not mess up.” The biggest thing that I have found is taking my time. If I rush to edit something, 9 times out of 10 it looks like the fakes, choppiest, overly saturated thing you have ever seen. So when approaching a editing job, take some time to just play around with the picture to see what works. But DON’T FORGET TO SAVE THE ORIGINAL MULTIPLE PLACES. YOU WILL ACCIDENTALLY EDIT IT AND LOSE THE REAL PICTURE. I can not express to you how many times I have lost my original and let me tell you that is one of the truest forms of heart break. Next, for editing the lighting, don’t forget to play with the contrast. This is the easiest way to make a light picture more dramatic or a dark picture look less like it was taken in a cave (unless of course you actually took the picture in a cave). As well as contrast there are exposer, saturation and sometimes high lights and shadows selections that you can choose to play with. All of these things are fairly easy to use, at least in my experience, and don’t require anything more that your eye for lighting and patience.
The most basic way to change the lighting of a picture is one that almost everyone knows about. That’s right my girls and guys, I am talking about filters. Some filters are great for lighting purposes, others not so much. The added benefit of filters is that you don;t have to figure anything out and all it takes is the tap of a button. Most every device that takes pictures has filters pre installed, and some apps to post your pictures offer them also. If you don’t have filters on your desired device there are always websites that you can go to that will have filtering software or even editing tools. Lastly there is youtube. If you can’t figure out how to do something I promise there is a video or self help page that will help you.
Now, if you are way more skilled than I am and have an actual idea how to edit pictures then more power to ya. There are some great ways to edit out there, such as Gimp and Photo Monkey, but for us beginners it’s a little intimidating to jump right in.
That is all the knowledge I have to impart on this subject so stay tuned for more little tid-bits coming up! As always I wish you all many beautiful photos, I encourage you to see the world through your own lens, and hope you keep capturing the moment!