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10 Rules for Editing Digital Images

During the week one of our readers – wedding photographer Martin Whitton – shot me a list of his ’10 rules for editing digital images’. I thought I’d share them today as a discussion starter for readers.

Martin comments that ‘these ideas may seem a little elementary, but sticking to the basics keeps our editing focused, maintains consistency from image to image and keeps our clients happy’.

  1. Tone of space (a room, for example) should be balanced and neutral, with no overall bias;
  2. Blacks (like tuxes) should be black;
  3. Whites (like wedding gowns) should be white;
  4. Don’t over-saturate images (my personal pet peeve)! Final edited image should be representative of what the human eye saw when photographing occurred;
  5. Flesh tones should be realistic and consistent. If he looks red and she looks pale white, something’s probably wrong;
  6. Image should be level or straight. Use reference points within image to determine this;
  7. Fix and remove any “red-eye” issues when flash is used;
  8. Sharpen all images last, and do it sparingly;
  9. Save images based on their intended use; images being posted online can be as small as 500 kb. Images that will be printed should probably be 1-2 mb (minimum);
  10. For easy tracking and identification, rename/save images based on the event, like – “Jane & John Wedding 1”.

These are Martin’s 10 ‘rules’ and no doubt they’ll be debated by readers- what are yours? Do you have any? What would you add or subtract from Martin’s list?

Of course there’s no wrong or right in this as personal style and approach comes into play – but we’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

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