6 Ways to Improve Your Photo Editing Skills
Photo editing is a worthwhile skill to learn, whether you’re just thinking about touching up personal pics, or you want to pursue a career in photography, design or even digital marketing.
Most of us have a very basic grasp of how to alter images, and in fact modern mobiles often include a decent set of tweaks you can make to snaps without needing to do anything more in-depth than press a couple of buttons.
But what about if your aim is to go above and beyond an amateur understanding of photo editing? Here is an overview of the skills you’ll need to bring to the table.
There’s no doubt that patience is a transferable skill, and one which will be applicable in whatever area you throw yourself into going forward. From a photo editing perspective, patience is crucial because you’ll need it to support your efforts when altering and adjusting particularly tricky images.
To succeed in this sphere, you can’t rush or get frustrated when making painstaking changes. You also have to know that it might be necessary to go back to the drawing board and begin afresh if things aren’t working out, so part of patience is being at peace with setbacks like this.
Patience is as much about learning to be humble and in control of your emotions, as it is about simply being able to sit and stare at the same picture on a computer monitor for several hours in a row.
Of course the latest editing software is capable of streamlining a lot of the work you’ll need to do, but even so a patient editor is better than a frenetic one.
Photo editing is an innately creative process, even though it might not seem like it from the outside. At every step of the journey you’ll need to use your imagination to take the picture you’re presented with, envision how it can be changed, and then turn this idea into reality through the software at your fingertips.
Experts have found that creativity is something that we can achieve as part of a routine, so it’s important not to think of it as some ethereal, random and unknowable facet of our personalities. The more you work at improving and using your creative urges, the stronger they’ll become.
Try out fun techniques, for example turning a photo into a cartoon
If you make learning entertaining, you’ll be better able to retain the information and it won’t feel like a chore. This definitely applies to photo editing, and there are so many ways to mix things up and get deeper into this hobby.
For example, with this awesome tool you can experiment with transforming a standard photograph into a cartoon equivalent. This is an example of the automation mentioned earlier. Then, with this image to hand, you can give your own evolving editing skills a good workout by trying to recreate your own version of this stylized snap.
In this case, testing different techniques just for fun will build your skills as well, and also give you inspiration on which to base your other photo editing endeavors.
Unless you are being trained to edit photos as part of your current job, it’s probable that you’re handling this because you’ve taken the initiative to pursue an interest or passion in photography and design.
That’s a great starting point, but it does mean that you are also entirely responsible for finding the motivation you need to actually keep up with your efforts to improve your abilities in this area.
Finding self-motivation is difficult if you aren’t taking a structured approach to studying any new skill. The solution is to implement a framework, set goals and have something that you are working towards.
Motivation also comes down to your outlook; if you are optimistic about your chances of reaching the targets you set, then you’ll be more able to deal with any speed bumps you encounter along the way.
Collaboration & communication
If you’re only editing images for your own use, then you might not think about the implications of collaboration in this context. For any pros in this space, being able to work well with others and communicate effectively is a must, because there will usually be several different individuals who are involved in a project, with the range of opinions and views that comes along with this.
For example, any freelance editors who want to court clients and keep getting commissions have to be able to talk through what the customer wants, understand their needs, and get to grips with the outcomes and results they are looking for. Hence, being able to listen, as well as make suggestions about routes forward, is vital.
Even for internal projects, successfully communicating and collaborating with colleagues, rather than either bulldozing ahead with your own plans or timidly acquiescing to every last point made by other people, should be a priority.
Lastly, you’ll need to look into how you manage your time to both improve your photo editing skills, and put them to good use once you are more adept in this arena.
We discussed the importance of patience early on, and that’s definitely useful, but that also should not come at the expense of making good progress and of adhering to any deadlines which you are faced with.
Patience should not equal procrastination, and following the best practices of time management, as well as using tools which can cajole you into action when you are treading water or prevaricating, must be your aim.
If you have already worked on a range of skills to further your professional ambitions or improve your personal life, there’s a good chance that you can apply these to learning photo editing, and that’s the right time to buy Photoshop.
If you still feel like there’s room to improve in a number of areas, then you’ll never be wasting your time if you decide to work on skills, whether to become a photo editing master, or to realize any number of other ambitions.
About the Author
Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.