10 Basic Photo Editing Tips for Beginning Photoshop Users


Being a good photographer means not only to take wonderful and high-quality photos. It means you have to be skillful at all stages of creating a beautiful picture, starting with choosing the best equipment and ending with applying different filters and presets. As well as having a quality camera body and lenses, skills of basic photo editing are vitally important for both beginners and experienced photographers. Fortunately, we are living in an age of modern technologies, so now almost everyone can learn how to edit photos like a professional through various image retouching software and apps. So, here you have an opportunity to get to know some basic photo editing tips that will be especially useful for beginning photographers.

  1. Select the best photo editor

It doesn’t matter whether you want to retouch photos to post them on social media or for your clients, you should use the most suitable photo editor software. It may be the program for PC or Mac or even mobile apps. Among the best ones, I’d recommend iPhoto that is one of the best online photo editors for the basic settings, such as adjusting contrast. GIMP is recommended for creating and editing graphics, Picasa has a functionality of a professional image editing software. You can also take a closer look at Snapseed, PhotoPlus, PicMonkey, and Photo Editor Pixlr. However, if you are planning to do the photography business, you should use Photoshop or Lightroom. Moreover, you can find the best Photoshop tutorials on YouTube if it’s necessary.

  1. Don’t forget to save the source photo

It’s one of the most important basic photo editing tips. Remember that there is a chance that you may want to try to edit the photo in another way, or you just won’t be satisfied with the results, and there will be no original shot anymore. That’s why making a copy is really essential, as you always will be able to try something new.

  1. Choose the format

Before talking about the basic photo editing, we should first figure out which photo format is the best for shooting and image post-production. It goes without saying that the better the shot is taking, the easier it will be to work with it. So, we have RAW and JPEG formats. As for the first one, it means that the picture is just transferred to the camera without any changes. The second one will provide you with a little improvement of the picture in accordance with the settings of the camera, but in this case, you will get the poorer quality. That’s why it’s always recommended to shoot in RAW format, as you’ll have an opportunity to work with a ‘clean’ picture.

  1. Remove unnecessary space by cropping the shot

It’s a simple step that you can do in any photo editing software, but it can improve your original picture a lot. Besides, you don’t have to possess unbelievable skills for this, just your tastes and realizing what result you’d like to see. The most common way of cropping is square. You can use this method for almost every type of photography. The other way is to crop the pic in a ratio of 6 to 5. Take into account that the photo shouldn’t be less than 600 px wide.

  1. Set the right contrast

It’s also the step you can do easily if you are working in some professional photo editor online whether amateur app. The contrast makes the dark colors of your shot darker and light lighter. Moreover, it increases its sharpness and clearness and improves the overall colors of the picture. This tip is useful if you want to make the photo more vivid and brighter.

  1. Adjust Highlights and Shadows

Many photographers tend to face the situation when the camera conveys the shadows and light not in the way they are in real life. That’s why you should never forget about the Highlight and Shadow settings. You can easily fix the situation during the basic photo editing in Photoshop or some other program. Don’t underestimate such functions, because actually, they are quite powerful tools that can change your photo a lot, and make it much better.

  1. Stay natural

Remember the main rule: you should never overdo even performing the basic photo editing. Don’t set the high level of any adjustment, because it will only spoil the photo, and not enhance it. Take into account that natural and realistic pictures always look much better than those with too much retouching. It concerns any kind of photography, whether it’s a landscape or even a wedding photo session, it must preserve its atmosphere and beauty. Of course, you can experiment with the image and try some other colors or settings, but when it comes to unnatural look, remember about the ‘Undo” button.

  1. Make a skin retouching

This tip is particularly useful if you are performing a portrait photo retouching. Many photographers find this step quite a difficult one, especially removing different defects on the face, such as spots or wrinkles. Even though it’s a diligent work enough, it’s a very important thing to enhance the photo. The best way to do it is to use the Healing tool in Photoshop or in your other best free photo editor online. However, remember not to overdo again, and not to make the skin too smooth and even.

  1. Use a vignette

Vignetting is a great way to highlight the main elements in the photo. It means that some parts of the shot are becoming darker, making the other areas automatically lighter. Usually, the vignette is imposed at the edges to concentrate all the attention to the center with the main objects. It is also very important to make the transition invisible.

  1. Compare the final and original photo

It’s a great decision to make several variants of the photo to have an opportunity to choose the best one. If you are not very skillful yet, you can start with small adjustments, such as increasing brightness or correcting the white balance. Then you can move to the contrast and make the dark areas a little darker. Remember that even if you’re working in the best free photo editor online, you still may make a lot of mistakes, so don’t forget to compare the before and after images.

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