I covered the basics of editing here, but if you are wanting to go beyond the basics I suggest you start with the various tools found in your editing program. In fact, I use these tools all the time after I am done with the basic editing on a photo. Since I use Lightroom as my primary editing program I will be using their nomenclature. The tools I will be covering are:
Spot Removal Tool
The radial tool is often the first tool I use on a photo. This tool allows you to apply changes either outside a designated radius or inside of it. To apply changes inside you will need to select the invert option at the bottom of the tool menu after you select the radial tool. Typically, I use inverse mode to apply exposure onto a subject's face.
The brush tool is one of my favorites. Mostly because it lets me really fine tune my image. With the brush tool, you selectively apply changes to exposure, saturation, clarity and other elements. I use it to brighten areas of my photos that I can’t use the radial tool for. Another example would be to apply saturation to lipstick so that it stands out more. There are even pre-programmed settings that allow you to brighten teeth or soften the skin.
Spot Removal Tool
Spot removal is the tool you will use to take care of pimples and other small areas that need attention. You can also use it to remove the occasional flyaway hairs. In order to achieve this the program overlays another section of the photo over the selected area to hide it essentially. When you use the spot removal tool there are some adjustments you can make that will affect the final outcome of the removal; the biggest being what part of the photo the tool is using to mask the selected area with. After the brush tool this is my favorite tool to use. It’s kinda fun to click on a pimple and have it disappear.
The gradient tool allows you to gradually apply edits from one area of your photo to another. The classic example for this is with landscape photos to help your sky pop while keeping the landscape close to what it was before while getting a gradual transition between the two. I don’t use this one as often as the others but it has come in handy a few times.
I will be posting a part 2 in the future, until then if you have anything you would like me to talk about in that one, leave me a comment below.
As always I like to include extra value in my posts when I can, so here is a good video I came across of photographer, Rhonda Ray, editing one of her photos and running you through her editing flow.