Editing is an essential part of photography. Some photos need a little more care in editing than others and of course, making an artistic photo by modifying adjustments to extremes is anyone’s choice. However, there are times when too much editing can make it look over-processed. Here are some ways to tell if you’ve given your photo a little too much TLC.
There’s Too Much Contrast
Applying too much contrast to an image can leave your shadows looking very dark and unrealistic. Unless you’re going for an extremely moody look, keep an eye on your black point by holding down your J key in ON1 Photo RAW. A blue overlay will show you all of the true black (black without any detail) in your photo. You can move your Contrast and Black sliders while you hold down the J key, ensuring that you don’t add too much contrast.
Colors, whether they are bright or toned down, play a significant role in photographs of any kind. Having too much color can be very distracting, though. Pull your saturation to -100 to remove all of the colors from your photo, then gradually pull it to the right until it’s properly saturated.
There’s Too Much Exposure
Overexposing is an easy thing to do. We all want a correctly exposed photograph and the exposure slider subsequently handles most of the abuse. Often times yanking up on the exposure slider until the subject is correctly exposed can leave other areas on your photograph blown out or too bright. To view blown out areas on your image hold down the J key. True white (white without any detail) will show in a red overlay.
The Photo is Crunchy
Applying detail to a photo is incredibly fun, especially with ON1’s Dynamic Contrast Filter. So fun, in fact, that we tend to pile it on to photos until everything in them is tack sharp and then some. A halo edge around higher contrasted areas is a good indicator that you’ve applied too much detail. The “Natural” preset style in the Dynamic Contrast Filter works well with most photos, and now you have the ability to mask and blend it in Photo RAW.
The Tones Look Unrealistic
Sometimes there are elements in a photo that can make or break the photo’s sense of realism, such as large areas of tonal highlights or shadows. If you were to shoot a scene that had the sun in it, for example, removing too many highlights may make the area around the sun look unrealistic. Having some blown-out areas in your image, especially if it’s a sun, isn’t always a bad thing.
What are your signs when you see a photo over edited?