With the rise of pre-set filters and the Instagram generation, it is easy to think that genuine photo editing is a lost art. Thankfully there is still a market for high quality photo editors in the advertising, magazine, and digital arts worlds.
But how do you go from being good with basic filters to truly talented when it comes to photo editing?
Here are a few simple steps that you can take to move your photo editing skills to the next level.
Take a course
Once you have learned the basics of photo editing in a program like Photoshop or Lightroom, you probably feel like you have enough at your disposal to master photo editing. But you would be amazed at how much you can learn by taking an online course.
While there are thousands of free tutorials on YouTube, the best place to start is a recognized organization or even LinkedIn Learning.
If you have more time on your hands, then why not check out a local community college for short courses, or visit a photographic platform and ask for advice? Learning the basics as well as the tricks of the trade will already set you up to be a better editor.
Find some inspiration
Retouching and deep etching can become tedious, but if you stay inspired even the mundane can help you achieve your goal of being a better editor.
The key is to stay inspired. Digital art is an endless source of motivation, as these visionaries have essentially taken the world of photo editing into an art form.
If you feel frustrated by what you’re doing, then do some research on the best digital artists out there, and try to see what you can learn from their approach.
At this point, it may even help to turn to YouTube tutorials to understand common technique combinations too, as these may spark an idea in your mind.
Invest in great software
As much as you can elevate almost any image with programs like Photoshop and the rest of Adobe suite, serious photo editors know that they require powerful, custom-created software.
Think of it like photographers – they can take great photos on an iPhone, but they do their best work when they have the full power of their favorite camera.
There is always going to be debate around what the best software for editors is. Lightroom and Photoshop offer certain admirable qualities, but if you’re looking for the complete package, the verdict is unanimous – you need Luminar.
There are a few reasons why this is such a powerful offering:
- Adaptive UX: The software learns your habits and style and prompts you to improve using certain built-in features.
- Extensive functionality: With over 300 tools at your disposal, you have everything you need to become a professional editor.
- Online support: With video tutorials and step-by-step guidelines, you can learn as you experiment.
Created specifically for use on Mac, this is the Rolls Royce of editing suites. The fact that it is adaptive and will serve your needs regardless of your level of experience means that anyone, from an amateur to a pro, can learn something.
And it only costs $70.
Practice makes perfect
Even the best editors, armed with the best software, need to practice their craft to improve.
As with any skill, the more time you spend on improving your technique and getting familiar with your chosen software, the better.
Struggling to make a start? Take a photo a day for a week and edit it according to a theme.
Become relentless, keep learning, and get the best tools out there and you can flourish as an editor.