The photo edit; how I edited my most-liked picture

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Editing makes the picture. Never have I taken a picture and been instantly pleased with it. It's even taken me years to be pleased with my edits. And while I've found what works for me with my current abilities, I'm always learning and adjusting.

VSCO is my go to app for photo editing, and sometimes I will send it over to Light Room for color adjustments.

First, I send the image to VSCO and apply the filter. I always use A6 because I like the warm tint and low exposure it gives. I lower the filter intensity to around 7 or 8, sometimes lower depending on the picture.
I usually then lower the exposure to balance the sunlight in my pictures, and it makes them a little dramatic in a way. However, this picture has a lot of shadows in the bottom, so I boosted the exposure a little.

Next, I always lower the contrast to around -1.5 to remove sharp lines and harsh contrasts.

This sounds a little contradictory to what I said for the contrast, but next I sharpen the image. This just gives it a better quality look and highlights the grain that we will add later.

I've started adding warmness up to +2.3, but this picture was posted during the summer so I wanted to keep the editing a little lighter for my theme at the time.

The skin tone tool smooths and develops the yellows in the picture a little better, in my opinion.

Finally, I add a decent amount of grain, but I never go over +4.9. Too much grain can make the image appear low quality and I definitely want to avoid that look.

As I said above, this is a process that is always changing from year to year, season to season, and picture to picture. I will post an edit process for outdoor pictures soon as that's where I most use Light Room. I think the tools in that app can do a lot for an outdoor scene.

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