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5 tips for photo editing beginners

Today I would like to share some useful photo editing tips with you. If you are an amateur photographer, then you probably have quite a lot of pictures that are not perfect. Professional looking photos are especially important if you would like to print materials like brochures.

This is what photo editing software is for: Boring pictures can be made more striking with a few clicks (after you’ve had some practice). Even professional photographers use photo editing in order to give their photos the finishing touch. Here are a few basic pointers for starters.

1. Never edit the original
Whatever you do, never change the original photo. Copy it to your software for photo editing and work only with a copy (personal note: every software package from MAGIX works non-destructively and never changes the original photo). If you leave the original untouched, then you can always try and apply different improvements, brightness settings or photo editing steps. Perhaps it will even make sense to edit the photo in different ways for different uses.

2. Don’t “overedit”

If you change the photo too much or go overboard with optimizations, it will look very unnatural. Additionally, important details will be lost. If it isn’t the specific goal of photo editing, you should avoid this at all costs. You have to know where to stop! Luckily, all programs include the good old “undo” button for digital photo editing.

3. Adjust all murky and boring pictures
During photo editing, go to the color menu and raise the color intensity, which will make listless, bland photos appear more lively. You can also fix pictures that are too bright or too dark and adjust focus in blurry photos.

4. Cut out boring elements

It is often the case that interesting objects in photos are surrounded by other boring ones. For example, an empty parking lot or a gray sky can shift the focus away from the center. The uninteresting part may be cut out and removed using photo editing functions. Sounds easy, and it is! Big effects on your photo’s appearance are guaranteed!

5. Adjust size – smaller photos look sharper

If you reduce a photo in size, it will have better resultion and will appaear sharper than before. With images intended for print, make sure the resolution is at least 300 dpi. If the photo is to be published online, it should be scaled to 75 dpi. In this resolution the photo looks sharp and has the size appropriate file size for the web. Long loading times for large photos can become annoying very fast.

And the last tip: After you’ve finished working on a photo for a book or a brochure, make a test print on your home printer first – sometimes a photo looks great on the screen, but different on paper. And once it’s published, no amount of photo editing will help you anymore.

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