Do Professional Photographers Edit Their Photos?

In this age of chronic photoshopping of images on the internet, some people question a photographer’s proficiency and the genuineness of his photographs when they use photo editing tools like Photoshop and Lightroom for the processing of their photos after shooting them. When they talk about photo editing, they mistake the term “post-processing” to “image manipulation.” Image manipulation is the alteration of an image to be something else rather than what the original image shows, sometimes with deceptive intent. Post-processing of an image can simply adjust and correct the vision to achieve a more realistic photo than the raw image that your digital camera shot. It doesn’t always lead to image manipulation. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

Do photographers edit their photos? Yes, they do. And if you’re serious about photography, you need to. Shooting is only the first half of creating a good photograph, and it doesn’t end after you press the shutter button. Photo editing involves modifying, correcting, and adjusting your images to improve them. It can start from the simple tone and colour enhancements and removing unwanted elements to image manipulation like adding wild special effects and dramatic retouching of your photos. Most of your edits as a photographer are going to lean on the former. Still, there are times when you might need more complicated adjustments.

Also, if a photographer is too busy to edit their photos, they will hire a company to retouch them. The truth is, photo editing is not a new thing. It was already existent even during the film photography days. During those times, photographers used different darkroom methods in editing the raw images from the film negatives to create a beautiful final product. From development time to something more complicated like using coloured gels or prisms between lens and photo paper to create artistic distortion.

Even the choice of film is considered as photo editing. Different types of films produce various image quality. Some amplify colours. Some have black and white images, and others produce either high contrast or low contrast photos. Your choice of stock film will determine how the final product will look.

8 Photo Editing Tips for Stunning Photographs

Have you decided to buy your first professional camera and want to make a name for yourself as a photographer? Or maybe you just wish to learn how to edit photos for your own albums? With these eight simple photo editing tips for stunning photography, you can take your photo work to the next level.

When it comes to post-processing, Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw, and Photoshop are professional photographers’ favourites. That’s why I’ve decided to offer a few useful tips on these most popular photo editing programs. Looking for wedding photography Melbourne? Look no further! Wild Romantic Photography has you covered. So, without further ado, let’s begin our list of photo editing tips that will upgrade your amazing shots.

Speeding Simple Processes

Without a doubt, one of the main issues concerning photo editing is the workflow. Sometimes having to edit even just a couple of photos can turn into hour-long efforts. The process of opening, editing and saving can become a pain.

Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw simplified this process by utilising a series of shortcut keys. By pressing the ‘Cmd+C’ or ‘Ctrl+Shift+C’ (for Copy options) and ‘Cmd+V’ or Ctrl+Shift+V’ (for Paste settings) commands, Lightroom’s software helps to save a lot of time for such remedial tasks.

Camera Raw Filter

Photoshop CC has the option of enabling the Camera Raw interface as fast layer editing can be done in Photoshop. Simply select the layer, then go to Filter > Camera Raw Filter.

In order to return to the Raw Camera Filter at any time to fine-tune the photos, first convert the layer to a Smart Object using Filter > Convert for Smart Filters. This will prevent destructive edits.

Learn About Camera and Lens Adjustments

Do Professional Photographers Edit Their Photos?

It’s best, to begin with learning some of ACR and Lightroom panels before engaging in Basic adjustments. For example, before you make any substantial changes to colour and contrast, check the Camera Calibration panel.

The Lens Corrections tab and the Enable Lens Profile Corrections option are worth checking out. Especially if you use wide-angle lenses, the automatic lens adjustments might push some areas of the image out of the frame. It’s a good idea to check these before cropping the image.

Make Use of Various Shortcuts

I simply cannot stress this enough. Not only does it save you time, but it also offers a better command of the software.

One of the most used tools, zooming, can be simplified by pressing and holding H. In Photoshop, this will create an instant zoom. You can also hold the spacebar to temporarily switch to the Hand Tool, dragging the image around to verify details in other areas.

Create More Vivid Skies

By utilising the HSL option in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom, you can give a subtle boost in contrast between a blue sky and a cloudy one. To do so, select Luminance and then drag the Blue slider to the left to darken the sky. Do not overuse it, however, or the edges of the clouds and other objects might intrude into the sky.

You could employ various other techniques such as applying a digital Graduated Filter, boosting the Clarity or Curves or increase the Vibrance or Saturation. Another useful option is the Targeted Adjustment Tool, which can be used directly on the image. Simply select it from the ACR toolbar or by clicking on the ‘bullseye’ icon at the top of the HCL panel in Lightroom. Afterwards, simply click and drag on dark areas. 

Stylising Photos

If you wish to apply a more stylish look to your photographs, the following steps might prove useful.

  • Begin by uploading your photo in Photoshop and select the Brightness/Contrast panel.
  • Adjust Brightness to +25 and Contrast to +35. Set Saturation to -25.
  • Then adjust the Curves layer.
  • You can first choose Red. Select and drag down a little the centre of the red line.
  • Then move the Blue line upward.
  • Lastly, select and move up a little the Green bar.
  • Finish by selecting the Soft Light blending mode.

To complete, we just need to add two Solid Color adjustment layers. Select a pale yellow colour and then set its blending mode to Overlay. Set Opacity to 35%. For the second colour layer, you can type ‘f000ff’—select Screen as its blending mode and Opacity to 30%. We have the best wedding photographer in Yarra Valley to capture your beautiful moments on your wedding day. 

Experiment With Preset Settings

The Presets Panel is located on the left of the interface after you click on the Develop Module. The colour presets found there are excellent for experimenting. If you find yourself in a pinch and need to undo an effect, safely scroll down to the History palette. There you can click back through history states. Make sure you go to Lightroom Effects Presets and select Light Grain.

Be Selective When Using Apply Levels

Adjustment Layers have the feature of being accompanied by a Layer Mask. This can be helpful when hiding parts of the tweak by simply selecting the Brush tool and continue painting over tweaked parts with black. You can also employ the command Cmd/Ctrl+I to make the Layer Mask black, then paint with white to reveal the tweak.

By applying these Levels as Adjustment Layers, you can therefore mask to restrict the effect to certain areas of the image.

There you have it, a shortlist of tips for photography enthusiasts wishing to improve their editing skills. I hope my article proves to be enjoyable and useful to you, for more tips on how to make spectacular photographs be sure to check out more interesting photography tips and techniques on

17 Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers

What is the best photo editing software? That’s a difficult question to answer because photography has moved on an awful long way since Photoshop first came out. Photographers need more than a simple desktop photo editor these days. It’s not just about selections, masks and layers any more – we need non-destructive editing, image cataloguing, raw processing and lens correction tools. We don’t just want photo-editing tools, but inspiration too. And with retro looks making a comeback, photography has become just as much about the atmosphere as a technical correction.

Do you want professional photo editing software on Mac or Windows so that you can perfect your photos? Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, editing your photos before uploading them to your photography website is essential. In this guide, we’ll share the best photo editing software for photographers.

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Adobe Photoshop Cc 2020

Adobe’s decision to make Photoshop CC a subscription-only product remains controversial. Nevertheless, Photoshop is slick, powerful and constantly improving. Its support for selections, masks and layers is unmatched, making it the tool of choice for complex composite images. Despite its reputation for complexity, Photoshop actually offers a very clean, slick interface. There are no ‘novice’ modes, but the tools panel does offer fly-out animations that show you how the tools work and what they do. There are no image browsing or cataloguing tools in Photoshop itself, but since Lightroom is included in the same Photography Plans as Photoshop, that’s not an issue. On its own, Photoshop is powerful but limited; with Adobe Lightroom, it’s half of the world’s most popular image editing double-act.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic/cc

Do Professional Photographers Edit Their Photos?

Lightroom is an all-in-one image cataloguing, raw-processing and editing program and the perfect partner for Photoshop. If your main work is photo enhancement rather than manipulation, you might not need Photoshop at all. HOWEVER, Adobe has made things more confusing by splitting off the ‘old’ Lightroom, now called Lightroom Classic, for regular desktop storage and introducing a new, slimmed-down Lightroom CC which stores all your photos online. You get both in the main Adobe Photography Plan, but for us, the Classic version is by far the best. It lets you apply one-click presets in a fraction of the time it takes to apply manual edits in Photoshop, and there’s a great range of free Lightroom presets out there too.  Starting to think about hiring a wedding photographer? Check out our range of Mornington Peninsula wedding photography here.

Affinity Photo 1.8

We complain that there’s too much Photoshop doesn’t do, but the fact is for many photographers, this kind of old-school image editor is exactly what they need. And Affinity Photo gives you exactly the same thing, but subscription-free, via a single extra-low payment. Affinity Photo is sold at a budget price point, but it has the tools and the features and the power to compete with Photoshop head-on. Serif has focused particularly heavily on the retouching market, with cloning, healing and retouching tools, an Inpainting tool for automatic object removal and a dedicated Liquify persona (workspace) for localised image distortion effects. Affinity Photo is an extremely powerful photo editor with more tools and features than there’s space to list here, from focus stacking to high-end frequency separation – and version 1.8 is a free update for existing users that brings another raft of improvements.

Phaseone Capture One Pro 21

Capture One works both as tethered capture and editing tool for studio photographers with a ‘sessions’ based workflow and as a Lightroom-style image cataloguing, searching and non-destructive editing tool. It works in a single window rather than in Lightroom-style ‘modules’ and has a highly customisable set of ‘tool tabs’. One of the key differences is its layers-based local adjustment system which makes it much easier to see and edit your changes to your work, and this now includes ‘parametric’ linear and radial gradient masks, which you can edit later. Capture One’s conversions look smoother and sharper than Lightroom’s, and Phase One’s new co-operative arrangement with Fujifilm means it can produce arguably the best Fujifilm processing you’ll see and also recreate Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes. Capture One 21, just announced, brings speed and workflow enhancements, a new Dehaze tool and a new Speed Edit mode.

DxO Nik Collection 3.3

The DxO Nik Collection is the latest version of the celebrated Nik suite and thoroughly updated here to include a new workflow and a new tool. The Nik Collection includes three quite superb and individually powerful creative tools: Analog Efex Pro is brilliant at analog/darkroom effects, Color Efex Pro is a hugely powerful suite of filters for individual use or combined into ‘recipes’, and Silver Efex Pro remains the best digital black and white plugin ever. Viveza is quite good for ‘dodging and burning’ colour images, HDR Efex Pro is pretty handy as an HDR merging/effects tool, and while Sharpener Pro and Dfine feel pretty dated now, they can still be useful for output sharpening and noise reduction, respectively. The big news, however, is the arrival of Perspective Efex, which offers powerful lens and perspective corrections, tilt-shift effects and advanced wide-angle distortion correction. Version 3.3 celebrates the Nik Collection’s 25th birthday with 25 new presets.

DxO Photolab 4

DxO PhotoLab is the replacement for the old DxO Optics Pro, adding local adjustment tools from DxO’s acquisition of the Nik Collection software to make it a more powerful all-round photo-editing solution. You use the new PhotoLibrary window to browse your image folders, create Projects and carry out basic filtering and housekeeping tasks, but PhotoLab’s real strength is its superb raw processing, amazingly effective PRIME denoise tool (Elite edition only), excellent local image adjustments and highly effective (and automatic) lens corrections. The image quality produced by PhotoLab is second to none. On the downside, you’ll need the more expensive Elite edition to get the PRIME denoise and DxO’s ClearView Plus feature, and if you want to apply perspective corrections (once built into Optics Pro), you’ll need the DxO ViewPoint plugin. PhotoLab 4’s biggest new feature is its new DeepPRIME noise reduction, which is better even than the existing PRIME tool and faster too. What it can do with high ISO raw files is incredible and unmatched.

Luminar 4 (luminar Ai Is Coming)

Skylum Luminar is a relative newcomer to the photo-editing scene, but it’s made a big splash already. If you like the idea of an all-in-one photo editor that can both organise your images and edit them with a fully non-destructive workflow, then you’re in the right place! It even supports image layers, masks and montages. Luminar 4 is a very powerful and effective mid-range photo editor which is pioneering some very effective AI editing tools. Its AI Sky Replacement filter is quite exceptional, and its portrait enhancement tools are more subtle and effective than ever you’d expect in an all-around image editor. Luminar 4 rolled the regular Luminar and the Luminar Flex plugin into a single purchase – so it can be used as a standalone program or as a plugin with Photoshop CC, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements or Apple Photos. However, Luminar AI is imminent and offers a complete redesign, focusing heavily on AI effects and ‘templates’, automatically analysing your images and suggesting some great looks. Watch this space!

Exposure Software Exposure X6

Like ON1 Photo RAW 2021, Exposure X6 is a relatively little-known program that deserves a lot more recognition than it gets. It’s a subtle, powerful and efficient all-in-one photo editing and browsing tool that specialises in analog film effects and comes with a huge library of simple one-click preset effects. It doesn’t offer image layers, so you can’t combine photos, but for many photographers, that won’t matter. Exposure X5’s strengths are its neat, simpler interface, some beautiful effects and presets and straightforward and effective tools. As ON1 Photo RAW 2021, it also offers non-destructive adjustments and ‘virtual copies’ to try out lots of different looks for a single image without having to save additional files. Exposure X6 brings an Auto Enhance feature, GPU accelerated processing, improved noise and highlight handling and a new colour replacement tool.

On1 Photo Raw 2020

ON1 Photo RAW is perhaps the single most complete solution of all the programs here, and the 2021 version brings new colour selection and replacement tools, a new Spot Healing Brush and new portrait and landscape enhancement tools. There’s also an optional ON1 360 subscription service for Adobe style image sharing and synchronising with mobile devices. ON1 Photo RAW 2021 has a built-in hybrid browsing and cataloguing module that gives you fuss-free exploring of your image folders but more powerful search tools if you need them. It has an Edit module with Develop, Effects, Portrait and Local (adjustment) panels, and the Effects module alone has a vast array of filters that can be adjusted, masked and combined in an infinite array of permutations. It pulls off a particularly amazing trick, incorporating layers, masking and compositing tools into its fully non-destructive workflow. ON1 Photo RAW might not be as well-known as some rivals, but it’s worth any keen photographer taking a look, especially with its fresh, crisp and modern new interface.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 2021

So far, every program in this list has been a stellar performer perfect for its own particular audience. Elements 2021 brings new Adobe Sensei AI-powered features, including animated 2D and 3D GIFs and a clever new ‘face tilt’ feature. The Elements editor, which has an eLive mode for inspiration and tutorials, a Quick mode for fast and simple effects, a Guided mode with an ever-expanding list of effects walkthroughs (three more added in the 2021 version), and an Expert mode with the full range of tools. You can get Photoshop Elements on its own or with Adobe Premiere Elements as a bundle – Premiere Elements does for video what Photoshop Elements does for photography. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.