You Won’t Need Photoshop If You Learn These Basic Photography Techniques!
It’s amazing how many photographers think you have to have Photoshop to get “good” pictures when the real truth is that more photographers use Lightroom and don’t manipulate at all. A lot of it has to do with whether you’re shooting RAW or if you’re dealing with a difficult location. There are a few tricks to simply ditching time-consuming edits which every photographer should know, but if you’re doing wedding photo editing, they’re especially important because you’ve got so many more images to go through.
It’s amazing how often people don’t bother to line everything up in their viewfinder. Proper framing cuts out the need to crop or alter your image dimensions. Similarly, you should be lining up your horizon without thinking unless you’re going for a crazy angle. Wedding photo editing means making everything perfect and a minute adjustment like framing properly when taking the shot can potentially save you hours of fixing images in post-production.
This should go without saying, if you’re shooting weddings then your exposure should already be on point, but you can also get a little creative with it. Learn about the exposure triangle and how you can get blurred backgrounds without having to replace them. The same goes for sunsets. It’s common for wedding photo editing to include a sky replacement because of poor exposure – either the subject is lit or the background. By over lighting your subject with an off-camera light you’ll put less exposure on the background meaning you won’t have to do a sky swap.
As a sub-note, reflectors are also a must. If you’re not using an off-camera light or you’re dealing with harsh sunlight, a reflector can really save the exposure on your image, something that can be especially problematic with wedding photo editing because of the harsh highlights in a white dress. Don’t forget the onboard exposure adjustment (+/- button) that you can do with each image as well.
Many “old school” photographers remember the days before Photoshop when wedding photo editing took place in the darkroom, and there wasn’t a quick click fix. Filters are amazingly versatile, but many don’t bother with them anymore. Getting to know your filters can adjust the white balance, change colors, and flares, and even darken your image so that it’s more atmospheric or make the sky bluer. There are many different filters out there, and they’re pretty cheap. At the least, you should have a Skylight, a CPL, and a Neutral Density filter for your main lens and how to use them. Did you know that a dab of vaseline on the filter would give you a vintage “soft” feel for example? Or a sandwich bag or scarf?
Action shots or Motion Blur
It’s amazing how much people think these are staged or photoshopped. That bride tossing the bouquet? The car driving off with the couple? Simply being able to set your shutter to either a fast enough to capture the motion or slow enough to get blur for sparkler images means you can get clever images without the need for extensive wedding photo editing. This goes back to the exposure again and knowing when to have a long exposure (sparkler shots) or a lightning fast one (bouquet in the air).