Update: This post was originally posted on 13th March 2020 but after changing my website this post had to be re-published due to technical issues.
When I started with photography I didn't give any thought to editing my photos I was more interested in getting the composition correct and getting my settings on the camera correct.
First Experience of Editing
However, I recall sending my now partner one of my photos once for his opinion on it and he advised if I put it through some editing software I could make the colours really pop. At that time I only had access to the software that had some with my laptop which was very basic. But it was still enough to enable me to make the colours pop a little bit more and to let me see what is possible. After that my partner showed me his editing software he had the time (light room if my memory serves me correctly) and allowed me to muck around with one of his photos. This allowed me to try my hand at more advanced editing tools. However, what I found was that I was not keen on all the different tools but that may have only been due to not having any experience with them.
Choosing Editing Software
When I upgraded my laptop I decided to download some free editing software to give it a try before paying for software. The one i decided to download was Adobe Photoshop Express and quickly found that I enjoyed this software and although I have tried a free trial of capture one I much prefer almost the simplicity of Adobe Photoshop Express.
Using the Software
In this post I thought I would try and show what I mean by its simplicity.
The part circled in red is the control panel and where you can add some basic effects at the top, next down is cropping and straightening, followed by the control to change the exposure and such which I'll show you below. Then the tool that looks like a plaster allows you to spot heal, which basically means remove small marks on the photo that you don't want. Then there's the tool to remove red eye and lastly a tool that lets you add borders to your photos.
As a general rule I don't apply any effects to my photos as I prefer them to stay true to the original but that is not a hard and fast rule as there are times I do apply effects. And of course I do use the cropping and straightening tool as they do help improve and remove unwanted items from a photo.
In this example I'm not using either the effects tool or the cropping/straightening tool. I am purely going to use the corrections tool on this photo.
In this tool there are different sections and I always start with light and work my way down. And generally speaking I only tweak each item that I am using on the slider ever so slightly and try to avoid going to either extreme end of slider as I don't want to lose the original photograph, I only want to enhance certain aspects of them. However, this is a personal choice and there is no set rules that photographs must be edited in a certain way. Because as with all mediums of art it is subjective with the beauty being in the eye of the beholder.
Now I am not going to show you every single slider and what I did with each one but I wanted to show you the first one. Purely to demonstrate what I mean by tweaking the sliders.
However, there is two sliders I frequently push quite high up the clarity tool and the dehaze tool. Both these help make my photos crisper and I feel they add to my work.
Now one of my favorite tools on Adobe Photoshop Express is the viewing original tool as this allows me to see how far from the original I am and whether the edits I have done have improved my photograph or made it worse. And in the photo below it's the little tool circled in red.
To demonstrate what this tool does I've taken two screen shoots the first one is the tool showing the original and the second one shows the edited photograph.
I hope these two screen shoots demonstrate what I mean by this tool being very handy.
And my final photograph is this.
I hope this post helps you if you are looking for editing software and are wary of paying for something you may not use.
This post is not designed to bring down the software that you pay for and have more advanced features. It is only to show you what I enjoy using and the positives to it. Of course with everything there are negatives, and with this software the biggest downside is that you can't watermark your photos. However, I have got round this by purchasing visual Watermark. Yes there was a cost involved with this however it was a lot cheaper than buying software I wasn't happy with just for that feature. And in a future post I write about that software.
I hope you enjoyed this post.