Photo Editing for Dummies?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by AnnaFugazi, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. AnnaFugazi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm an amateur photographer who is wanting to learn how to edit my photos - what the different adjustments are for, when to use them, etc. In the past, I've just used the 'auto-fix' feature in PSE (on windows machines), but I really want to learn how to do this myself.

    I'm using the trial of Aperture right now for organization/tagging (which I'm planning to buy as I get an educational discount), so anything geared towards that would be good.

    Thanks!
     
  2. titaniummd macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    #3
    If you want to gradually break into editing. Photoshop Elements 6 is really good, then if you want to go advanced, then get Photoshop. Aperture is great if you have an SLR for RAW images.
     
  3. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #4
    For starters, do you mean TONING your images, i.e. color correction, image adjustment, etc?

    Or do you mean photo editing, i.e. making selections, top rated, rejecting images, etc?

    For toning, check the links above. For editing find a local college professor or photo professional (real pro, with formal training/YEARs of experience around others better than he/she) to help you decide which images are keepers and which aren't.
     
  4. AnnaFugazi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #5
    Thanks guys, that has all been really helpful.

    In response to your questions, I just got a dSLR, so I will likely start shooting in RAW format. As a starting point, I want to learn how to do the tonal adjustments. Once I get the picture into Aperture (or PSE), I'm a bit lost as to what to do next. Where do I start in the editing process: is there an order to edits - brightness before contrast before sharpening, for example. I also feel I need to get a better feel for what needs to be done to the picture by looking at it, as my current method involves a bit too much trial and error.
     
  5. bking1000 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #6
    How about learning tools for layers in PSE6? I really stink at it, and am having trouble learning from a manual :(
     
  6. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
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    #7
    Well, you can always start by setting the standard color for your monitor. If you are using an iMac or ACD, or Cinema LED display or any IPS panel you can set your color profile. That will help you determine what needs to be done to your images.

    After than, opening layers and telling the computer what the white and black point of your photo is, then tone from there.

    To set the W&B points, open the layers adjustments (command + L) then click on the black eye dropper in the lower right and then click on the brightest part of your image, do the same for white and if you have a neutral gray that one as well.

    This tells PS what the maximum white and black points are, and help you get much of you imaged adjusted from the start. After that, you work off of your profile and tone using curves, levels, etc. and other nifty tools like history brush, dodge burn, etc to get it right.

    p.s. Never go about toning your images using your eye. Even calibrators don't do the job completely. You'll have to find out what needs to be done by the numbers to get spot on color. Just like setting the RGB values for white, black and grey are important, so is getting as close as you can to skin tones and such for people and things.

    You don't need a see of adjustment layers to tone, just make sure you save the original file. Aperture/Lightroom helps to make different versions of the same image. As does Bridge when you move up to PS CS4.

    Don't get caught up too much in the tools, they all do the same thing just slightly differently. Curves, Levels, saturation, etc. just about everything in the IMAGE tab does the same thing. Find out which one gets the jobs that you need done quicker or more accurately than the others.

    Dodge/burn works good at 5%-->10% with midtones IMHO.

    History brush (if it's in PS Elements) is a WONDERFUL and AMAZING tool for tricky exposures, and things that just make you go ????
     
  7. AnnaFugazi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #8
    Thanks for the help, Digital Skunk. I appreciate your patience with a double newbie (mac and dSLRs).

    I've tried playing around with some of my P&S pics, but it seems like Aperture only wants to edit RAW images? Will I need to use either GIMP (which I haven't dl'd yet) or PSE for these images?
     
  8. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #9
    Aperture will edit either RAW or JPEG images. With RAW you get extra control over the meat and potatoes. You can edit them in a PS program as well if you choose to, or if your technique calls for it.

    And no problem about the help, it kinda just came.
     
  9. kaybee01 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #10
    most basic editing

    Hi: I'm very new to Mac....and to working with digital photos. My question is...which is the easiest most basic application for loading photos, organizing and being able to share with family by email? A friend just gave me his older imac...10.4.11 Tiger768 RAM. Thanks
     
  10. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #11
    Anna: When I got my first dslr, I shot jpeg for the first month just to get used to the camera with limited distractions. Get used to the camera first, then get into the post processing aspect of a it.

    Kaybee: Don't jump right into Aperture as your first photo organization tool. That Mac you got should be already loaded with iPhoto. If not, it's a part of the iLife suite from Apple. It will allow you too organize all your photos with little effort. As for sharing, get a free Flickr account. Then all your friends can see your photos with no sweat regarding what computer they are using.

    Dale
     

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