How to Edit Photos: A Guide for Beginners

Today not only owners of professional cameras but also users of smartphones can create high-quality photos. The secret is simple ー the right image processing allows you to turn even boring frames into works of art.

Of course, an important step is choosing a good photo editor. Luminar Neo is a multifunctional software with AI tools for high-quality retouching of any complexity. With it, you will easily achieve stunning results.

Today we tell you how to process photos and get a high-quality result, even if you’ve never done retouching.

Working on a laptop

Preparation: tips for taking pictures

The quality of the result and the processing time directly depend on the original file. To get an image that is easy to turn into a masterpiece, we advise you to set up your camera properly right away.

If you are a beginner, you can use auto mode, which gives you the best settings for the majority of your shots.

However, under difficult conditions, it may increase sensitivity and set the wrong shutter speed. This will result in a ruined picture. That’s why it’s better to adjust the device manually, so you have more control over the result. Here are a few important points:

  • Shutter speed. Its setting varies depending on the shooting genre and lighting conditions. By changing it you can control the brightness and blur of the picture. If you are photographing people without movement or at slow speeds you could set a slow shutter speed of 1/200 to 1/500 to get enough light onto the sensor to prevent blurring. For subjects, the best setting is 1/400 to give the optimal brightness and keep the picture as sharp as possible.
  • Aperture. If you’re taking landscape photos in daylight, you should set the aperture to f8-f13. To get the most detail in your shot, set it to f16, f22, or f32. For portraits, opening the aperture as much as possible is recommended to create soft contrasts that are ideal for this genre.
  • ISO. If you’re shooting indoors with sufficient light, it’s best to set the ISO to the lowest setting. For non-standard shooting, the setting is adjusted according to the amount of light, weather conditions, etc. Keep in mind: a higher value means more digital noise.

Another important tip: Try to shoot in RAW format. This allows you to do more advanced editing: change the white balance, do precise color correction, and work with shadows and halftones.

Editing Photos

The main rules of high-quality photo processing

Even if you are shooting in perfect conditions, photos require additional processing. Below we will discuss the main nuances of editing that allow you to achieve a professional result.

1. Follow the rules of composition

One of the most frequent mistakes made by beginner photographers is the wrong composition. Usually, they photograph a model or subject positioned in the center, but such a construction of the scene looks boring and inexpressive.

Instead, try using the “rule of thirds”. In this case, it is necessary to divide space mentally with two horizontal and vertical lines and place the object at its intersection.

If you did not follow the rules of composition when taking the picture, you can fix it in a photo editor. In the Tools section, select the Crop. Set the appropriate option in the Grid panel and crop the picture according to it.

2. Watch the lighting

Ideally, pictures should be taken either in daylight or with special equipment. Photographs taken under a lack of light look dull and unexpressive; frames with too much light are over-exposed. In both cases, the clarity and detail of the frame suffer.

In the best photo editors for photographers, you can find an automatic light correction function, or you can try to correct it yourself. Try to make the picture look natural because the purpose of retouching is to improve the photo, not to apply as many effects as possible.


3. Avoid blurred images

Nothing says you’re a novice photographer like a blurry shot. This happens if you release the shutter quickly and the camera doesn’t have time to focus. The problem may also be caused by a handshake. If the frame turned out slightly blurry, the defect can be easily corrected during post-processing. Select the Sharpness tool and drag the slider. However, this may not always help. Unfortunately, sometimes it is almost impossible to correct blurred frames.

4. Don’t neglect color correction

The camera is not always able to reproduce colors the way the human eye sees them. As a result, the sky is too faded, the grass is stunted, and so on. If you encounter this problem, you need to enhance the color intensity.

What is the best photo editor for this purpose? Try Luminar Neo. Thanks to AI tools, you’ll be able to achieve perfect color reproduction with just a few clicks.

5. Remove unnecessary objects

Finding the perfect location for a photo session is difficult if you’re not working in a studio. Passersby, unnecessary objects, trees, and other unnecessary objects distract attention and spoil the image as a whole. Fortunately, modern photo editors make it easy to erase any objects from your photos.

Remove Unnecessary Objects

Final Thoughts

We’ve only discussed the basic nuances of getting good pictures. Of course, if you practice photo editing regularly, your skills will improve rapidly.

The main thing is to choose the most convenient software for you. The best photo editors for Windows and Mac are considered Adobe Photoshop and Luminar Neo.

The latter has a more user-friendly interface for beginners and a lot of useful features, so we advise you to try it. We wish you good luck!

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