Basics of Photo Editing: All That You Should Know

Basics of Photo Editing
Sep 20, 2021 Reading time : 5 min

Do you spend most of your time on Instagram? If yes, then don’t you love the kind of pictures people upload over there? Everything almost looks like it has just come out of a movie trailer. Well, that is the beauty of editing. It is not at all rocket science; you just need to know a few tips and tricks to make your pictures look out of the box.

Apart from the basic editing software, you just need to have an eye for detail and aesthetic sense, which we are sure you have! So, let’s get into a quick discussion about the basics of photo editing that you must be aware of. 

Cropping and Adjusting

Make sure that you are ready with your files before you jump into editing. For example, you need to know how to crop the right image details, update your editing tool and have some idea about what kind of a picture you want as a result. 

Knowing what different file formats do is also a good piece of advice. You should check for that. Also, keep in mind that not all image editing software can convert certain files.

Before you proceed to edit light, exposure, and more, you must take the time to crop and adjust the image that you want to work on. 

Understand the kind of view you want, and accordingly adjust the lines to crop the image or straighten it if it is not aligned to 90 degrees. The crop feature can also help you to resize your photo, so if you want a zoomed-in view of a picture, just crop it to the desired measurement. 

White Balance

White balance in photography is characterized as a change that the camera makes so that the shades of your picture are seen normally without being influenced by the shadow of the light offered by the scene. 

When your camera changes the white balance, it’s making up for the shading tint of your light source, so the tones in your picture stay consistent with the real world. The unadulterated white pieces of your image look white and don’t pick a hotter or colder tone because of the tint of the light source.


While clicking a picture, the measure of exposure picked ordinarily decides how bright or dim the last image will end. Higher the exposure, brighter the shadows, mid-tones, and features in a picture. Lower exposure does the absolute inverse — obscures every one of the tones. 

Fixing exposure is one of the most essential aspects of photo editing. If you want to flood your gallery with high-quality images that potentially carry a message, then you must study exposure.


The histogram of any photograph carries a lot of importance, as when you are about to finish off your picture for the final launch, you need to make sure that the colors are in complete sync. In layman’s terms, a histogram serves only one purpose: to set the tonal range of the photographs, especially when there is a large amount of dark and light present, which is mixed together. 

Most of the editing applications provide a steady histogram present in one of the panels, showing you the tonal equilibrium in the entire photograph. So, you can always take a reference from the chart and balance all the colors and tones in your picture. 


If you are working on photographs where you want to highlight the details, then sharpening the image might help. The sharpening tool is the most common tool you will get on every photo editing application you choose to use. With the help of this tool, you can ensure a crisper and cleaner look for your image, which is great when you are looking to create a better quality photo for your website

Often, the photographs which look sharp on your social media page look odd when they are printed in big-sized flyers and hoardings. So, if you want to do your task in advance, then you must always use sharpened images. Along with this, you can use the ‘clarity’ and ‘structure’ tools to make the edges of your picture stand out. Lastly, while sharpening your image, start from point 50 in a particular area and slowly move up and down to readjust the entire image. 


Many photo editing applications will give you some free presets that you can use to make your pictures stand out. For example, Lightroom offers you multiple presets that you can use to match the shade and feel of the image, and the best part is that you can also create your own presets and share them with your friends and family. 

If you want to give your images a cinematic look, you can always play around with b&w; if you want to make your pictures a little grainy, you can go for some vintage filters. Plus, filters are a very easy excuse when you are feeling lazy to get into details of your photo editing spree.

Final Words

Photo editing is all about finding the right balance and moving ahead with a purpose. Photography is magical, but to do it flawlessly and right, you need to ensure that you have enough tips and tricks underneath your hat, and most importantly, a lot of practice and patience.

Louise Simon
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Louise Simon