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Post Processing Images : 5 Tips to Avoid

Author: Libby - Printique by Adorama

There is so much to learn when starting photography. Not only do you need to become one with your camera, you’ll need to know how to handle the digital post processing. While there is a plethora of tutorials and blog articles to help you with post, we thought we would share with you the mistakes that are often made. Here are 5 items to avoid.
This is one of my favorite families of all time. They are fun and full of life.  I saw the ivy wall and knew I wanted it to play an integral part of their family portrait.
Here is the image straight out of camera – the original. I grew up with film and so I’m comfortable with getting the image pretty darn bang on in camera. However, like most digital files, it could use a little more sharpening and punch to make it shine. original
1. Over Sharpening
One important step is sharpening your images. However, with anything in the digital world, less is often more. If you use an action or a preset  make sure you tweak it. Every image is different and applying the same sharpening method to every image will yield unsatisfactory results. Notice how the ivy almost seems to take over the image? This action would have been fine, if toned down to about 60%.
2. Filter Fail
There’s no doubt about it, the birth of instagram has given its followers a new passion for the filter. However, this is not always the best idea for your images if you want to keep them classic. While this look is trendy now, you have just outdated your client’s photos. Keep it clean and you’ll keep it timeless.
3. Color Saturation
Spring is the perfect time to punch up those colors. Careful though, you want to retain natural looking color  not color that looks like it came from a cartoon. Plus, the more you saturate the more you lose detail in your blacks and blow out your whites. originalsaturation
4. Spot Color
This was a very popular process to do in the early 2000’s. It was when digital was booming and photographers were just starting to have fun with color. However, as mentioned before, stay away from fads you are outdating your images before you  even hand them to your clients.  It also tends to take away focus from the main part of the image – your client.  This is not to say I haven’t seen some very clever uses of spot color, but for the most part I would stay away from it.originalspotcolor

5.  Vignette
You want to bring attention to the main subject in your photo by using vignetting. However, with most post processing, you can over do it. Instead of using an action or preset to do this, you can subtly bring attention to the subject by lightly burning in certain areas to draw in the viewer’s eye. originalvignette
The great thing about photography and post processing, is it’s constantly evolving. I have been a professional photographer for over 13 years and I can tell you I have made every one of these mistakes. However, I hope my mistakes will be your learning  tips.
– Written by Libby for Adoramapix