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I need to learn how to edit!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a discussion on I need to learn how to edit!!!!!!!!!!!!! within the General photography forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; Thanks to this site, my portraiture has gone from TRASH (5 years ago) to what I think is as good ...

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    theantiquetiger's Avatar
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    Default I need to learn how to edit!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks to this site, my portraiture has gone from TRASH (5 years ago) to what I think is as good (or better) as most "professionals" here in Baton Rouge. I see stuff people are buying now, and I cannot believe what people are paying for this crap. The biggest thing is the editing. They are taking OK images and editing them into very nice portraits.

    My RAW images are better than a lot of the stuff I see from others, but my biggest handicap is my editing skills (or lack of) in Photoshop. I can only edit in LR (and I am sure those skills are lacking as well).

    I have spent hours upon hours watching editing videos, but I just cannot grasp the skill. I think I am fairly computer savvy (I took programming in college 25 years go), but it just won't come to me.

    Any suggestions other than going to Art School/College?
    Last edited by theantiquetiger; 05-09-2016 at 10:41 PM.
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    I can only comment on my personal experience, but I find books better than videos (let me know if you want any recommendations). They can be heavy going, but working through them slowly (and regularly) will improve your working knowledge. There are so many little tips and tricks that just wont fit into a video.

    I also find you have to almost work alongside the learning. By that I mean there is no substitute for doing. After reading or viewing a video immediately go and try it. It is near impossible to remember how to do things after watching 20 minute video if you dont do it at the same time.

    Personally I think good processing (especially portraiture) is all about subtlety (something I still get wrong but am I trying to curb my over-enthusiasm). If you can learn Photoshop it really changes this aspect of editing. Layers, blending modes, opacity and masks are your friend to make subtle changes to only specific areas of the photo. Although LR is getting better, the adjustment brushes are still a little clumsy in my opinion.

    I am no expert and like I say that is my personal opinion.

    PS I agree that your portraiture is indeed up there, or ahead of, a lot of stuff I see from commercially successful photographers.
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    When I view a video, I am always following along with a image in PS at the time, but my stuff never comes out they way I am wanting. I'm not sure what it is called that I am trying to do.

    For example, in portraits, most are soft (not soft as in out of focus). It's almost like they toned down the lighting and laid a fine sheet of silk over the image (if you know what I mean).

    I am wondering if I am using the wrong or too much lighting. Maybe I need soft boxes, not just flashes and umbrellas.

    It just frustrates me.
    "The worst thing about taking a great image is that your next one has to be better!"

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    In the last few months, I have discovered why 50% of my RAW images missed the focal point.


    It was due to my glasses. I don't need bifocals, I just need to remove my glasses to see things close up (just like right now, posting this using my phone. I discovered I can actually see if my subjects are sharp before taking the image.

    I guess I need bifocals, but my readers will just be neutral with no magnification.
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    have you tried lynda.com videos? or kelby? They worked for me - but you have to practise....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marko View Post
    have you tried lynda.com videos? or kelby? They worked for me - but you have to practise....
    I recently just signed up for Lynda (it's free through the library) and I have a free membership to Kelby because I hosted a walk.
    "The worst thing about taking a great image is that your next one has to be better!"

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    imo they are gold. Watch from the beginning, with a basic course for photographers - take notes like you did in school.... They hire fabulous teachers.
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    "You have to milk the cow quite a lot, and get plenty of milk to get a little cheese." Henri Cartier-Bresson from The Decisive Moment.

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    Watching tutorials and reading books won't really make any sense until you do things practically. I would suggest you learn and then do it practically. learn a step and try to do it by your own. You can spent sometime on Picasa and Pixlr. That's how it works for me. Hope that helps for you too.

    Thanks.

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