Tips & Techniques – Basic Photo Editing

I’ve provided a few examples in this page to show you the different types of effects you can get using photo editing software.

It would be lovely if every photo we took was perfect – but the reality is that most photos need a bit of tweaking here and there. Down the page you can see the original image on the left hand side and then edited version on the right.

Digi Photo tip2 by Sarah GladmanDigi Photo tip1 by Sarah Gladman

In the original photo (the left one), I took the shot at an agle to provide visual interest. While I like the coloured version (it’s warm and flattering to skin tones), I felt that to scrap that photo would have been a bit difficult because of the colours in his pants. They were too distrtacting – I wanted to look at his face first, not his pants.

So, I Desaturated the pic and increased the contrast just a wee bit to make the blacks blacker and the whites whiter. Not the pic looks just as good, but the focus is now on my gorgeous boy’s face – not his pants. It also adds a certain maturity to the shot, which is great for the “tweens” or “teens” LO’s.

Again, I really like the original shot. But in order to scrap it using the theme of “Boys will be Boys” it lacked a certain harshness, a certain “rough and tumble” look about it.

So, first I desaturated it. Then I added Noise (from the Filters menu) and also added a filter called “Film Grain” which makes the pic look grainy and textured. It also highlights the contrast in the shot.

Last, I added somoe “Grunge” Photoshop Brushes to the outer edges of the shot – it all adds to the theme for the LO and adds to the “Boys will; be Boys” theme.

In this example, the original photo was posed well enough, but the colours were dull and there was no contrast – not lights and darks. Just grey.

In order to schieve the look in the example on the right, I first increased the Colour Saturation to about 140% – yikes I hear you say! Don’t worry – it may look too much, but when you also increase the contrast (the next step), it all balances out. Increase the contrast until you still have facial features without it looking too washed out.

Then I went around the outside of the photo and used the Dodge tool at 10% to darken and strengthen the background features. Last, I added a fine, feathery dark border by airbrushing around the outer edges. It all adds up to a grungy, almost emo look that works really well with boys.





2 Responses

  1. Hi Sarah – the examples look great! What would you suggest are some good techniques for girly photos?

  2. This is a wonderful idea. I am sure many people will find this useful. Singapore Photography

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