How to Effectively Choose an Image Editing
When it comes to editing images, it seems like there is more advice online than people in the world who could give it.
Everyone wants to tell us how they edit their photos (and sell us their Lightroom presets in the process).
Everyone wants to keep us watching, reading, or inhaling their content for as long as possible, so there are a ton of fluff articles discussing photography and image editing that doesn’t actually offer any actionable advice on how we can improve.
The following will attempt to be the break-in that cycle and state, in plain English, how you can choose a photo editing software that works for you.
There are really only three questions you need to answer when it comes down to choosing between the most popular image editing software (VSCO, Lightroom, and Photoshop).
Once you know your response, it will become clear quickly which program is right for you. Of course, you might discover that what you want to accomplish actually requires more than one program—this does happen from time to time.
How Drastically Do You Want to Alter the Photos?
If you want to make extensive edits such as cutting out the house from one photo and placing it in another image and cropping out a picture of a dog, and pasting that in, too, your answer is simple:
Photoshop. Photoshop is the editing program that allows you to do the most intense composition and structural changes to the images.
Yes, it can blur things in the background and touch up skin and flyaway hair strands, but it’s beloved for its ability to get the big things done.
It’s fantastic for collages (yes, collages are back in style with force), multi-layered images, or deep alterations. Photoshop is what you use if you want a different photo than the one you have.
How Many Photos Do You Have?
If you have lots of photos and want to tweak them all, Lightroom is your ideal program.
This because Lightroom allows you to import an entire SD card worth of photos and apply the same baseline edits to all of them. You can then scroll through and make additional adjustments to the images as needed.
Take a look at this comparison article if you’re confused between Lightroom and Lightroom Classic. Lightroom also gives you the option to save your presets so you can quickly apply a self-made filter to any image.
People with regular social media posts to upkeep who want the same aesthetic for their images find this a wonderful option. This also works extremely well for a series of photos all from one location with one type of lighting (like a day trip to the beach, for instance).
Do You Want to Edit Only on Your Phone?
Many people use their phones to take photos and post on social media without transferring the pictures onto their computer for editing and posting. If this is you, you’re looking at VSCO.
Yes, there are phone versions of the programs mentioned above, but VSCO is the most mobile-friendly. It can be found at the app store and allows you nearly all the basic photo editing options you could want.
Once you’re done editing, you can post on the VSCO sharing platform, but you can also save the image onto your phone to be used later. VSCO also allows you to save your previous edits, so you can apply them to another image if you want.
Take note, however, the days of a perfectly manicured Instagram feed are long gone; users like a bit of relaxed variety in the posts they see—they want things to feel natural.
When it comes to filters, less is becoming more. Be forewarned, VSCO doesn’t allow the mass editing at once option that Lightroom does.
When You Need More Than One Let’s say you have a thousand photos that you want to edit and six of them you want to then drastically alter. Your best bet would be using a combination of the above programs.
Do your wide edit in Lightroom and then import only the ones you want to really mess with into Photoshop.
Likewise, you might want to do the majority of editing on your phone using VSCO but then transfer a few of your favorite images to your computer for Lightroom orPho toshop work.
The above questions should help you filter through the most popular photo editing options to find the one that’s right for you. It might take a second to get used to a new editing program, but with a little practice, you’ll feel comfortable making beautiful pictures with whatever