How did you develop "an eye" for editing?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Mijoh, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. Mijoh

    Mijoh TPF Noob!

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    So I'm just starting out and taking all of your wonderful advice by trialing different editing programs. I've got the 30 day trial on Elements right now and I'm working really hard on actually understanding the software. My problem is that although I've started to understand the program technically, there is still a profound learning curve against me creatively. Just because I know how to use the program, doesn't necessarily mean I know when I'm supposed to use it.

    The obvious ones are easy: if it's underexposed just tweak the exposure a bit or if there's a big leaf coming out of someone's head clone it out. What about the less obvious problems though? Like just bringing out the midtones a hint, or if you just gave it a slight desaturation of green or something it would really pop! How do you learn that? Is it just experience?

    So my questions to you all are these: How did you develop "an eye" for editing? Or even just "an eye" for knowing when a photograph needs some tweaking? How long do you think it took you to really be comfortable deciding on those things?

    Any feedback will be much appreciated!
     
  2. FrimpyEIBW

    FrimpyEIBW TPF Noob!

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    I look at a photo honestly. I think "Would I want that hanging on my wall?"

    If the answer is no, I start editing.
     
  3. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    Honestly I just go into photoshop and screw around lol.
     
  4. Mijoh

    Mijoh TPF Noob!

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    Haha, I like both of these responses! Pretty much all I'm doing right now is screwing around and randomly editing until I like how things look, but you guys are supposed to tell me it's an artform or something and that there's this obvious path to follow for the perfect photo. My type A personality demands a guideline to creativity people!
     
  5. Nurf

    Nurf TPF Noob!

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    i have learned to use photoshop by looking at a photo and thinking about wat i want to change in the photograph.. if u have a good understanding on the tools in photoshop u can achieve what u want..

    another good way of learning how to use the program is just browsing the internet for basic tutorials and u can learn many simple and yet complicated things
     
  6. FrimpyEIBW

    FrimpyEIBW TPF Noob!

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    Have you seen those Video Professor commercials on TV? They offer fres+shipping CD ROMS for various programs. I got one for Adobe Photoshop CS2, out of curiosity, I knew most of it already, but I did learn a few things as well.
     
  7. YoungRebel

    YoungRebel TPF Noob!

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    I don't know in what format you are normally shooting your pictures in but since I shoot in RAW, I use Adobe Lightroom 'cause IMO it offers the easyest way or post-processing....So, if you look in changing or correcting settings like brightness, saturation, sharpness etc you should try out Lightroom.

    But if you're more into changing backgrounds, retouching skin etc etc, then go with CS3...

    So, I'd suggest first Lightroom for the correcting process, then CS3 if serious retouching is needed (everything that is not just for correcting basic things)
     
  8. Mijoh

    Mijoh TPF Noob!

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    That's kind of the vibe I'm getting. It really is just a matter of making it look on paper like it does in your mind I guess. I just didn't know if there was a best "creative" approach to the editing process and how you learn to really "see" a photo for all it's flaws and know instantly what needs to be done to change it. Believe me I'm studying the technical side of the program like I'm about to take a freakin' midterm on it, lol. I've been searching out all these tutorials and and I got this book from the library, "Classroom in a Book" that reads just like a textbook. There's so many free resources available, it's awesome.
     
  9. Mijoh

    Mijoh TPF Noob!

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    It's so hard to know what the best program is for me until I get really going I think. For now it's just my old crappy P&S Kodak, waiting for my XTI at Christmas. My goal is to definitely shoot in RAW, but I'm just not there yet. :) While I twiddle my thumbs waiting for my camera, I'm trialing different software. I did the 30 day trial on Corel Paint Shop, now I'm on to Elements. It'll be Lightroom next, then CS3. Although honestly budget wise, I'll probably end up with Elements or Lightroom to start. Thanks for the suggestions!
     
  10. FrimpyEIBW

    FrimpyEIBW TPF Noob!

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    How much does Lightroom cost? I've used APS for a long time. I have CS2 now, and have only recently found out about Lightroom.
     
  11. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When I first saw all the possibilities of Photoshop, I almost tossed it into the corner of the room! It was so much. Too much. I did not understand A THING about it. I much preferred to use the much simpler photo editing software that had come with my camera.

    By and by, though, I then ventured into PS, first only using the features easiest to understand, but then played with photos more and more, read up tutorials or just ideas mentioned by other members here on TPF on how they use their PS ... and so the abilities developed all by themselves, in a playful manner. Slowly but surely. Now I can deliberately go over board or I can leave it.

    My own post processing tastes have also changed in the course of my learning and I now go and re-edit (from the saved ORIGINALS!) many of my photos that I edited a year or two ago in a manner I no longer like today.
     
  12. YoungRebel

    YoungRebel TPF Noob!

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    Ah, ok, then sure wait for your rebel and you start with the processing :)

    Overall I'm more than happy with Lightroom. It covers about 80% of my needs - just try to shoot as good as possible, so if you're not up for special effects or so, you don't have to change much in the post-processing.

    Overall I think photoshopping pics too much is just not the art of photography (It's a different or design art but)...So many photos I see are so post-processed, that I sometimes can't tell how "good" the shot itself originally was or not....kinda sad...

    But I see myself using Photoshop for getting rid of bad skin in portraits or adding borders, that kinda stuff, so IF - min. 80% in Lightroom ;)

    Mijoh, are you a PC or MAC user ? please let me know...
     

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