All images need a little TLC and massaging (aka post processing). If you shoot in jpeg, which most cameras do, they are already post-processed in-camera by default, and in most cases, all you need to do is give it a little extra oomph to get it to look how you like.
I shoot in RAW format, which is an unedited, uncompressed, unaltered file format. It comes out looking very flat and blah-looking. The main advantage to shooting in RAW is you’re working with more data information. So if you underexpose your image, you can fix that without it getting noisy or artifacted. If you’re new to photographing in RAW, it’ll surprise you just how boring or awful it looks right out of camera.
I remember when I first started shooting in RAW. I thought my camera was broken. All the pictures looked grey and flat.
I contacted a friend who was a little more informed about digital cameras at the time.
“Jen, you have to edit your RAW files!” he said with a degree of exasperation.
And so I set out to learn how. I made a lot of crappy edits. With weird vignettes, neon grass, and tacky faux frames. Every new photographer goes through that phase. Right???
I like to think I’ve evolved some since then. I hope. I have a rule of thumb: if I ever ask myself if an edit is too much…it probably is. Scale the edit down by 50%-90%.
Less is more, after all.
Latest editing results
If you’ve a dSLR, give it a shot. you will need one of the following software:
- Lightroom and/or Photoshop. If you’re new to photo editing, start with Lightroom — most casual photographers won’t need a heavy-duty editing software. If you don’t want to get Adobe CC subscription, you can still get standalone Lightroom…for now.
- Luminar 2018 – I’ve been hearing good things about this software
- Capture One – likewise a great software. It’s a software made by PhaseOne, which makes these awesome, and very expensive medium-format cameras
- Alternatively use RawTherapee (I do!) or Darktable for free
Next? Just check out any of the tutorials on Youtube. There are oodles, and really, the best way to learn is by practicing. That’s how you develop your style.
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