Photography is a multi-faceted skill. In order to create great photographs, you need to have a firm grasp on a number of things:
4. Lens choice
6. Camera functions
But just as much as you need those skills, I believe you also need skills in editing. Editing isn’t to rescue awful photos (though it often can in a pinch!), but editing can and does take good photos and make them great!
Needless to say, there are many different styles, philosophies, and methods for editing photos. You have decide what is right for you. However, I think if you want to grow in your skills, it would serve you well to spend some time experimenting and learning about editing. This will allow you to create the photos you see in your mind. It’s one thing to have an eye for photography, but it’s another to be able to have your photos match your vision.
Personally, I do 95% of my editing in Lightroom. I switched in 2012 (from using Photoshop Elements) and I couldn’t be happier. I LOVE Lightroom. It allows me to edit most photos in less than 30 seconds, do lots of custom adjustments, and to save the processes I use on a regular basis.
Regardless of your program, though, you need to feel confident to do what you set out to do. Editing serves many purposes, including correcting white balance, exposure, contrast, and cropping. Editing also allows you to remove things from your background, convert photos to black and white, and to really make your photos pop (if that’s your style).
Using actions or presets can be a great start, but if you always depend on an action or preset to work on each and every photo, you are going to be disappointed at some point. It’s only when you take the time to learn the ins and outs of your program that your photography will be completely in your control.
I love being able to take a feeling in my heart and make the photo mimic it. My style isn’t for everyone, I’m sure, but I am so thankful for the time I have taken to learn Lightroom and for the ways it takes my photos from good to great. My photos make me happy and that is what matters most.
Lightroom has a great feature that allows you to view the before and after of your editing. I love the way it shows how powerful editing can be. I often take screen shots and have been stashing them away in a folder. These are just a few from the past few months.