Digital photo editing refers to the process in which photographs are modified and improved with the help of software. Digital photo editing is a broad concept which includes photo restoration, retouching, enhancement and image clipping. Red eye, inappropriate color/ lighting and background are some of the aspects rectified in the photo retouching process. The demand for digital photo retouching services is so high that, these days, it is outsourced to professional digital photo editing services companies.
Here are some of the basic tips for beginners:
Save the Original Photograph
Editing on the original photograph is generally not advisable as it would not allow you to explore and try for further improvements, if needed. To be on the safer side, save one or more copies of the original image and make changes in those copies. By doing this, you can always come to other copies to edit and try different styles.
Know Your Objective
Before you start editing, know the purpose as to where and how the photograph would be used – whether it is for personal use, for printing as an album, advertisement or marketing in case of stock images, real estate/ fashion industry. This would help you in choosing right editing options – making appropriate image corrections – that best goes with the purpose. For example, editing the real estate images would require appropriate camera angle, lighting and shadow correction, while editing the images for making an album would need more attention to the designing part besides image correction.
Correcting the perspective is a very crucial part, especially while editing the real estate or stock images. Sometimes, the image might not have the right camera angle and thereby might not meet its purpose. The significance of perspective correction is that it would make the image look more natural by showing the actual vertical lines ‘vertical’ in the image as well. A raw photograph, on the other hand, would have the vertical and horizontal lines slightly distorted. Such distorted images can, however, be rectified by using appropriate transform tools. The horizontal and vertical perspectives can be corrected with the help of ‘Free Transform’ or ‘Perspective Corp’ tools. The image below would provide clear understanding of perspective correction.
Neither over exposed and nor under exposed images would make a perfect photograph. Sometimes, dim lighting conditions would create marks/ spots (noise) in photographs. Thus, while performing photograph retouching, adding the appropriate brightness and contrast would bring overall enrichment to the image. The ‘Color Balance’, ‘Bright/ Contrast’ and ‘Curves’ are some of the tools used for correcting such over/ under exposed images.
Image perfection again depends upon the kind of photograph and purpose for which it is meant. For instance, portraits look more appealing when the subject is appropriately softened and sharpened and looks brilliant when the right background is set. Generally in digital photo retouching, noise removal, background enhancement, usage of apt style and effects are taken care of. ‘Patch’, ‘Hue/Saturation’ or ‘Levels’ are some of the tools used for noise/ color correction. Besides these amendments, addition/ removal of objects in some photographs would add more beauty to photos. The task can be done with the help of ‘Screen blend mode’.
Today, digital photo retouching is increasingly being demanded and several companies which are specialized in providing photo editing services for photographers have started offering the service to several onshore and offshore clients to take load off the professional photographers.