Editing Tips for Photography

Tutorials abound when it comes to editing your images after the shoot, but here are some lesser-known tips for working with your photography:

  • Edit photos at 16 bits/channel instead of the standard 8, but when saving for the web, switch back to 8 bits.

In PS CS5: Image > Mode > 16 bits/channel

You’ll get more shades of color and reduce banding when you edit in 16 bits (32 is a bit overkill, personally).

This added data can slow your image download time, so when saving for the web, revert back to 8 bits and save as a different file!

  • Sleep on it.

When you’ve been editing for hours and are in the zone, you may be tempted to just get it over with, hit ‘save’, and publish immediately.

Sleep on it, instead.  Give your eyes a day to rest, a chance for your perspective to change, and come back to it.

You may just decide that the colors ARE too saturated for your liking, or you may notice some distracting details you hadn’t before.

  • Zoom in.

While you’re editing, and when you’re ‘done’, zoom in to 100% and double check.

Are there harsh lines from compositing/masking that need to be graduated?  Did you accidentally erase a dot on your photo?  Is there a lot of noise you didn’t notice?

  • Zoom out.

If you post your work online, zoom out to about the size your image will appear on your website, and the size it’ll appear on phones.

Are there any distracting details/bright spots that need to be toned down?  Do certain areas need brightening for the image to read better?  Do the highlights and shadows still look pleasing?

  • Consider your aspect ratio/crop in relation to social media.

Personally, I love photographing images horizontally and a bit longer than others.  This can cause problems when sharing online (think Twitter or Instagram) as some social sites only allow a certain aspect ratio or may zoom in more than you’d like, cutting off part of the image.

And even if not cropped, horizontal photos can loose a lot of detail when shrunk to fit the screen.

You don’t have to shoot to cater to social media, but be aware how these sites may change your photos!

  • Save A LOT

This is a well-known tip, but it still bears hearing.  Save your work as you work on it!  You don’t want your computer to crash and loose hours of work!

  • Save in stages

Consider saving in stages as you go, labeling the file ‘stage1’, ‘stage2’, etc. respectively.  That way, if you sleep on the image or something goes wrong, you can start over from an earlier stage.


If you have any questions or suggestions for Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday, please leave a comment or contact me!

See you next week!
Much Peace and Keep Roamin’


More from Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday:

3 Photography Essentials to Get Started

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