Want to know five image editing mistakes that really get on my nerves? These five image editing mistakes are SO easy to make, and I see them everywhere - Instagram, peoples holiday photo's, including my Mum's (sorry Mum), I even see it in some professional photos too! They annoy me because 1) they're easy to make, and 2) they're even easier to fix - so no excuses! Here are five image editing mistakes that you need to stop making.
Not adjusting your horizon line
This one annoys me SO much! I see it EVERYWHERE! As an image editor, I honestly make it my life's mission for my clients to have lovely, straight, and well-adjusted photos, and it really gripes me when I see wonky images, especially when I see professional images, that are not adjusted well.
Here is an example.
Can you see how in the first image, the horizon line is not straight? The mounds and lines in the distance are at an angle. In the second image, the horizon line is much straighter and levelled, and this makes the image so much nicer to look at. As an image editor, if I see an image with an un-straight horizon line, it instantly puts me off the image. Although, that being said, this doesn't mean you can't have a wonky image. If the photo is shot with the intention of being at a canted angle, then, by all means, have an image at an angle. But for this example, we want our horizon line to be level, as do most landscape images.
Really blown out whites/exposure
Blown out exposure can sometimes be difficult to correct, but if you know what to do, then it'll be quite simple.
In the first image, can you see how the top third of the image is quite white and overexposed? You can barely see any of the foliage in the background, and it just looks like a blown-out image. The second image looks a lot better. Like I said before, overexposure can sometimes be hard to correct, and sometimes even impossible - it's better to have your image slightly underexposed than overexposed. To correct this, I adjusted the highlights, took down the whites and played with the exposure until I got the look I desired.
Not centring your image
This mistake also annoys me quite a bit. It's simple to do and can make your image look instantly better and more professional. I like to get my images quite centred, as it looks great on your social media and brings your attention to the subject of the image more.
See in the first image, I'm not centred. I think it doesn't look very pleasing, and not very professional either. But the second image, where I have slightly copped in and centred myself, looks a lot more appealing and the image looks well structured. As I mentioned with the 'horizon line', your image does not have to be centred all of the time. I often like to work in thirds - meaning that your image is divided into three either horizontally or vertically. I then put the subject of my image into these thirds to keep good image composition.
Applying a preset and adding no adjustments
You cannot, and I mean, CANNOT, just plop a preset onto your image and walk away. That's not how presets work. Presets form a good base for your image, and tweaks and adjustments still need to be made, no matter how amazing a preset may be.
For example, the first image is my own preset put onto an image with no adjustments. It looks so cold, and not really natural at all. Whereas the second image has been edited. I adjusted the temperature, the highlights, the shadows and the blacks in this image, and it has made such a difference and looks much more like how I would want it to.
As said in the previous paragraph, I like my images to look natural, and oversaturation is not natural sis. It just ain't! Unless used in a very specific way, I otherwise think this probably the worst thing you can do to an image.
Can you see how, in the first image, all of the colours look oversaturated and really unnatural? No one has ever seen colour like this in real life! And unless you buy some special glasses, nothing ever will! Countless times I have seen a beach shot of oversaturated sand and sea. It makes me want to be sick. Honestly. There are other ways of enhancing the colours of your image without oversaturating them. Try using vibrance instead, or play around with the HSL tools in getting specific colours to look how you'd like.
Saying all that I have in the blog post, image editing is very subjective, and what I may not like, someone else may love! It's all about finding out what style and mood you like and editing according to that. It's creative expression and there are so many different and wonderful ways that an image can look.
I hope you've found these tips and trick useful on your image editing journey!