Photo Editing: 3 Things To Try Before Deleting A Photo

there is so much excitement that occurs once you import your photos into lightroom, or whatever editing software you use, and begin your photo editing.  you’ve spent so much time photographing, thinking through your compositions, and portraying your emotions and point of view with your camera.  now it is time to look at all the beauty you created with your camera, and you click “import.”  as you look at your images, some images immediately catch your eye and you fall in love with them instantly.  for other images, you are a little more hesitant.  you don’t hate them, but you aren’t instantly in love with them.  you hover over the “delete” button, but have a hard time saying goodbye to the image just yet.  for these images that need a little more thought, be sure to try these 3 things before you delete the image.  sometimes images just need a little more thought in post-processing to give them a new life.

need some help deciding what images to keep and which to delete?  check out my 5 tips for choosing good photos to edit.

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Photo Editing : 3 Things To Try Before Deleting A Photo

Photo Editing : 3 Things To Try Before Deleting A Photo | Bethadilly Photography

i truly believe that we are a little quick to judge and delete photos during photo editing, and we need to give our photos a fighting chance to be loved and displayed.  sometimes it takes just seconds of effort for us to fall in love with a photo that we initially viewed as not worthy of keeping.  be sure to try these 3 things before you delete a photo for good.

Photo Editing : 3 Things To Try Before Deleting A Photo | Bethadilly Photography

1.  Straighten, Tilt, and Flip

our eyes are very smart.  they are instantly drawn to the harmony of straight lines and thoughtful compositions.  that being said, our eyes cringe when we see crooked lines and distortion in our images.  before you delete a photo, try straightening the image so the horizon lines are level.  try tilting the image forward or backwards to remove distortion.  if you have a composition that just isn’t working, try flipping the image horizontally or vertically to see if that brings harmony to the image.  doing any of these three things can help transform an image and, at times, remove any unwanted distractions.  you will be amazed what a couple minutes of effort in lightroom can do for a photo when you focus on straightening, tilting and flipping during photo editing.

2.  Edit The Photo Entirely in Color and B+W

before you officially delete a photo, try editing it in it’s entirety in color and then in black and white.  sometimes an image isn’t amazing straight out of camera, but a little time editing can bring out it’s potential.  fix the white balance, exposure and tweak a variety of elements to see if that helps you love the image more.  there are also times when a photo is better in one version over the other, so try editing it in color and black and white before you toss it out.  it’s important to note that removing color from an image can help to tell an entirely different story, so be sure to try a couple different edits to determine if the story is told better in color or in black and white.

3.  Step Away and Come Back

your images deserve a fresh pair of eyes, and sometimes that means stepping away for a bit and putting off your photo editing.  this could mean taking a break for an hour, a day, a week or a month.  it’s okay to let your images sit for a bit and take a breather.  absence truly makes the heart grow fonder and allowing a little distance between you and your images can help you see your images in a new way once you sit down to resume your photo editing.

are you hesitant to put off photo editing?  don’t be.  read why waiting to edit is a good idea.

i have made a habit out of trying these three things during photo editing and it’s amazing to see how many images i have kept, when initially i would have deleted them.  i am thankful that i have learned how to be more forgiving of my images and to cherish them for the memories that they hold, instead of immediately judging them based on composition and photo technique.  our images deserve more than that and not every image needs to be award winning to be deemed good.

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