Hey everyone, welcome to the debut of Edit Explorer! In Edit Explorer, we dive deep into submitted photo edits, offering constructive feedback and valuable tips that can enhance your photo editing workflows and techniques. As an ON1 Plus member, you have the opportunity to submit your edited photos along with sidecar files for review. Today, we’ve randomly selected four submissions from the community to discuss editing techniques and inject new life into these images.

Image #1 – Tree in a Colorful Landscape

Common issue: Highlights removed from entire photo in Develop. Removing highlights from the entire image will likely reduce contrast and make the image appear dull and flat.

Recommendation: Use a local adjustment to apply a highlight recovery in a specific area. For skies, I reduce exposure with a Local Adjustment and then bring back whites to ensure the adjustment doesn’t make the sky look flat compared to the rest of the scene.

Image #2 – Gazebo Amongst Flowers

Common issue: Not feathering masks. Sometimes, masks, especially when created using AI, can have sharp edges that make them very noticeable and distracting to the viewer.

Recommendation: Feather the edges of the mask with the Feather slider. This will soften the edges and blend it in with the rest of the photograph to ensure it’s not distracting.

Image #3 – Biker Portrait

Common issue: Portrait subject doesn’t stand out against the background. Often times in natural, sunny light, it’s tough to create separation from your subject and the background because everything is lit in the same light.

Recommendation: Use a local adjustment, set to Lighten, to brighten up the face or profile of the subject. Use another local adjustment or the Glow filter to darken the areas behind the subject. Modifying the light this way will help create separation from the subject and background – making the portrait more engaging.

Image #4 – Beach Minimalism 

Common issue: Small distracting elements in the scene. With beaches, especially closer to the tide, it’s easy to get distracting elements such as bubbles, rocks, seaweed, etc.

Recommendation: Use the perfect eraser or healing brush to remove these elements. This will ensure the viewer is focused on your subject and not other areas in the photo.

Thanks to everyone that submitted their images! Submit to the next Edit Explorer here —›