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Back to Basics: The Easy Elements of Editing Photos

Back to Basics: The Easy Elements of Editing Photos

Let’s be honest, nobody loves how their selfies turn out without a little bit of editing! Here at Beyond Basic, we get totally get it as great editing highlights a photo’s strengths while masking it’s flaws.

Whether you are looking to simply enhance your image or completely transform it, there are a few friends you are going to need along away. Here are the four elements of editing to help get you images exactly how you like them.

1. Exposure

Did your photographer friend take a pic with awful lighting? Or did you accidentally face the camera towards the sun and now have an image that’s too bright?

Have no fear, exposure is here to save the day! Exposure is the overall brightness of a photo. When adjusted, you can redefine the baseline tone for an image before jumping into other edits.

2. Contrast

Every photo has parts which are lighter or darker than others. Contrast defines how close the relationship is between those light and dark areas! With lower contrast, there will be a smaller difference in brightness between a picture’s highlights and shadows for a more muted appearance. High contrast will give you a more dramatic effect with large differences between highlights, shadows, and everything in-between.

3. Highlights and Shadows

If contrast is a PB&J, than highlights and shadows are the peanut butter and jelly as they make up a photo’s contrast!

Highlights are the brightness of an image’s lightest parts. When you increase the highlights of a picture, you make the whites even lighter and brighter– it’s like like bleach for pictures!

Shadows are highlights’ darker friend (no pun intended)! Working the exact opposite of highlights, shadows define the intensity of your picture’s darkest shades. Increasing the shadow of an image will actually result in lightening the darkness of a photo. So if you are looking to emphasize the dramatic shadows of an image, bump down the shadows for more definition.

4. Saturation

When it comes to color, saturation is key! As the concentration of any color throughout an image, saturation really can bring life to washed-out photos. As straightforward as can be, increasing the saturation brings up the intensity of a picture’s coloration.

With these four rules in mind, you can’t go wrong with editing your pics! If you want more tips and tricks on elevating your photography, check out some of our other tutorials such as adding grain to bring character to your Instagram feed!

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