common video editing mistakes

5 Editing Mistakes Most Novices Make

adobe lightroom being more creative image composition luminosity masks photoshop post processing Nov 02, 2021

As I teach classes on lessons learned, fixing some of your issues in post processing, and look at my own work I see many of the same issues come up again and again as mistakes we make early on and can continue to make without awareness.  

The first mistake is we crop too aggressively.  In wanting to bring the emphasis onto our subjects or to get the print to fit a specific crop dimension we put a major object of interest at the corner of our images which makes the image feel compressed, which in turn creates tension, which ultimately makes the viewer not feel relaxed our at ease in our image.  

The second mistake we can make.  Is not cropping at all.  The various "rules" of composition are not designed to make you adhere to them in order to have great images, but they are there to help you find balance and harmony in your images.  When we don't crop our images at all we often times lose the opportunity to help focus where you want the viewer to go or to look.  When we have not cropped our images or put thought into where we want the emphasis we can end up with an image like below where the viewer can easily wander out of the image.  

The third editing mistake is one that will get you at any point in time.  Selecting the wrong white balance or not setting your white balance.  What White Balance determines is the accuracy of colors within your image but it also sets the right color separation.  What you should be looking for is to have the shadows be cooler as they are not getting direct light and for the highlights to be warmer as they are getting direct light.  When you set a proper white balance you will get better transitions within your image.

The fourth mistake in post processing.  Is OVER processing.  The top violators we run into here are overuse of the Clarity Slider or Saturation Slider as those will make our images feel crispy and often times not represent any type of realistic representation of the environment we want to communicate.  All images should have sharpness and saturation within them, but rather than being applied globally it should be something where you only adjust one or two saturation color where you want pop or selectively sharpen key elements.  One of the easiest ways to do this is with HDR photo programs as they will over sharpen our images most times.

The final mistake, seems counterintuitive to the others.  The single biggest mistake you can make is not trying all kinds of different processing methods and all sorts of different ways to process your images.  Try HDR, go for the crazy over the top presets, crank up your clarity, jack up your saturation.  See what happens.  Sometimes you will find a new creative way of expression, other times you might discover a way you could bring an old image to life.  We do not grow as creatives without trying different things.  Id suggest as you try these different things, maybe hold off on posting.

If you want to learn more, check out my post processing classes.

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