How To Edit Better Blog Photos

We’ve covered how to take better blog photos and today it’s time to deal with my favorite part, editing. I seriously love editing. I’ve gotten a great groove down and I can now fully edit and upload to Flickr for back up within 10 minutes and that includes about 10 images per post. 

When you shoot in RAW format (this option is only on DSLR cameras) you will have to use Photoshop or some other program to view them. I personally use bridge to go through my RAW files and make all color corrections in Bridge. In Bridge I can select the images I want to edit, make changes and then open in Photoshop to finish editing.

This photo is a before and after of what I did in Bridge. If this was a JPG there is absolutely no way I could have made these adjustment without ruining the image. 

Warmth: +5 degrees
Tint: -2 green
Blacks: 5
Clarity: 10
Contrast: +25
Brightness: +25 

Warmth: +10 degrees
Tint: -3 green
Blacks: 3
Fill: 1
Clarity: 10
Contrast: +25
Brightness: +25

After you fix the color temperature, tint, etc., I will open up the images in Photoshop. First thing I do is sharpen them. I use these actions you can download for free The key learning how to properly sharpen is to make sure that skin looks natural. Over sharpening will look grainy and tends to make skin look blotchy. I 

Use the actions at 45%.
Use a soft brush to go over skin after playing the action.

This is a great example of a quick edit. 
Changes in Bridge
+ 15 saturation
+10 clarity
+3 blacks
+3 fill light
Open in Photoshop and increase brightness in curves. Adjust to your liking and then apply sharpening actions. 

Once I am done with the sharpening I go in and adjust the curves and brightness according to each photo’s needs. When I am done I do one vital thing, I change the color profile to SRGB. This is the color profile that is best shown on the internet. 

How do I change the color profile? Easy! 

Edit> Color Preferences> Color Profile> SRGB

This will flatten the image and allow you to save it as a JPG.  SRGB is the best color format for the web. If you don’t use this format, after uploading the image you will see a sharp decline in color and brightness. Use SRBG for the optimal brightness and presentation.

For those of you who don’t have photoshop I recommend using Gimp or Picasa photo from Google. You won’t be able to control as many elements as I am but it will help you will brightening photos. 

The best advice I can give you is to invest in a class to get a good foundation in Photoshop. It can seem overwhelming but small things like knowing how to convert your image into a more internet-friendly color profile will make HUGE changes in your image quality. Use caution when sharpening your skin. It can go horrible, fast.