The invention of Photoshop is at once one of the best things that ever happened to photography and one of the worst things. Now we have several options to edit photos, there are endless photo apps, Instagram being the most popular as well as browser based ones like Pixlr, Picmonkey, GIMP and the list goes on. No matter which editing application you use, the sentiment is still the same, editing can only do so much to make a bad photo good.
Don't get me wrong. I love Photoshop, it makes raw photos come to life. You can make colors more vivid, transform into black and white, add more contrast, make subtle changes, the possibilities are endless. Like plastic surgery, there is a point when a few tweaks can look freakish, and they make a bad photo look even worse.
Fake Depth of Field
Do you love seeing a photo where the important part is in focus and the rest is blurred out? Me too! There is a way to do that using the correct settings on your camera, but if your image comes out and it's all in focus, try cropping. Don't fake a depth of field.
Faking depth of field is easy to do in Instagram with their blur tool. Use that sparingly, or not at all. You can get nice depth of field with an iPhone without filters. Just make sure your focal point and your background have a good amount of distance between them.
Who doesn't want their whites whiter and the blacks blacker? Having good contrast will enhance any photo, but it you're blowing out the details and making things look like a color photocopy then it's time to ease up on the contrast tool. Unless, you're doing a 90's David Carson deconstruction revival on your blog. Which, props to you!
All the filters in the world will not make a boring photo interesting. It doesn't matter how many Bokeh hearts you use. Filters used sparingly can set a mood to a photo, but there is a line where it becomes more about the filter than it does the photo. Spend the extra time setting up a good shot rather than flipping through all the filters to get a good pic.
Your pics came out a little blurry. The remedy? Sharpen tool? Maybe, it can help in a pinch to tighten up the pixels, used VERY sparingly. But it's better to go out and keep taking photos until you get your focus down right, otherwise you'll get that photocopy effect.
Your photos get lost on Pinterest. People use your pics all over the place without giving you credit. The solution? WATERMARKS!
Oh no. First of all, if you really do not want your photos circulating the internet, don't put them online. There are ways to protect your images, but watermarks ruin the photo. If you must, consider doing a discrete watermark on the bottom.
What are some of your Photoshop pet peeves?