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Basic Rules When Editing Photos

Obviously I like to come home after a photo shoot, ¬†boot up my computer, and make some popcorn while I’m waiting. Once my trusty MacBook Pro is all engines green, I sit down and start uploading my images and begin editing a select few. There is a logical process to my madness though. A few basic rules that should almost always be followed.

Basic Photography Editing Rules

  1. Open your image in an image editor, and go File –> Save As. Do not edit the original file, especially if you are doing destructive edits! This rule can be ignored should you be doing non-destructive edits in a program such as Lightroom, or using more advanced techniques in Photoshop.
  2. Make sure your images are backed up to at least one other external drive before deleting any image, or editing any image. You can easily be editing a photo in Lightroom when next thing you know you accidentally overwrite the original due to naming issues! Terrible when you’re doing destructive editing!
  3. Not every image needs a vignetting. (Yes, I am an addict, however I am trying to get away from it.)
  4. Keep a backup system stored at another location, or perhaps consider online storage.
  5. Keep the original images from any panoramic stitching. Do not delete them. Period. No exception. In Lightroom, just make a stack to hide them all.
  6. Duplicate your image if you plan on making one B&W or a monotone of some sort.
  7. Watermark your image for online use.
  8. Save at 72dpi, no larger than 600px x 600px for online use.

That’s it for now! I’m gonna go eat my bowl of popcorn now!

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One response to “Basic Rules When Editing Photos”

  1. Kevin says:

    Yes, you should always be sure to make backups of all your files. You should even backup the files you think you will never use. Trust me, I have ran into a few situations where I was glad I backed up a file. Another great piece of advice is to know when you should stop editing. Its very easy to get carried away when editing a photo. Before you share a photo you should sleep on it, and then post it. You will be surprised by how much a photo can change once you step away from it for 24 hours.

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