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Tips for Quick Photo Editing in the Field

In today’s world of fast and super fast consumption of everything, perhaps photography and photographers are an anomaly in that we obsess over editing and over-editing our photos until the cows come home (figuratively speaking of course)! But there are some situations where quick photo editing and speed are our friends.

For example, say you are traveling on an adventure of a lifetime but still want to keep your followers and/or your community engaged and up to date on all your adventures by way of images. Or if you have just come back from a client photoshoot and want to send some sneak peek images so that your clients get excited about what is to come in the next few weeks.

Albert Hall Jaipur India at Sunset with pigeons - Tips for Quick Photo Editing in the Field

A quick edit of an image as I was traveling around India for 10 days.

In situations like these, having a process to edit your photos quickly yet efficiently and on-point with your photographic aesthetics is key. Luckily there are a few elements that can be adjusted to achieve a clean edited look. These sliders are universal in that they are available with almost any editing software available be it Lightroom (as seen below), Photoshop, or even smartphone editing software like Snapseed and VSCO.

Follow along with this video

In the following video, I share some quick and easy editing tips for times when you are in a crunch.

One quick tip for a fast edit in the field is to start with an image that has good bones, to begin with. Essentially what this means is that you try to get the images as close to your vision for the final outcome, straight out of the camera.

So slow down and really think through elements like exposure, composition, tonality, etc., right as you are taking the image. This will definitely help speed up your editing even more.

Golden Gate Bridge with a pink hue at sunrise before editing straight out of camera -

A clean straight out of camera shot that was almost what I wanted to achieve.

Karthika Gupta Golden Gate Bridge with a pink hue at sunrise after a quick edit

A few minor adjustments to amplify the pink/orange hues for a quick edit.


I hope these editing tips were useful. Keep in mind, the whole point of this exercise is to make editing in the field easy and quick.

You can always come back and re-edit those images to perfection when you have the time to spend hours on a single image (we have likely all been guilty of doing that at some point or the other – it is called the photographer’s dilemma!!).

Do you have any other quick photo editing tips you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments below.

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Karthika Gupta
Karthika Gupta

is a culture, people and travel photographer, based in the Chicago area. Her images are fun, fresh and natural, and her love for nature makes it way into most of her images. She also has a Free Travel Photography Demystified E-Course, a 5-Day video series to help you improve your travel photography.

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