Stop Committing Common Photo Editing Crimes and Use Lightroom Properly (VIDEO)

Most photographers strive to “get it right in the camera” without resorting to an abundance of post-processing tricks. But every so often a bit of photo editing is called for, either to correct a mistake, maintain the mood of an image, or make the photograph match one’s vision.

The problem occurs when photographers take a heavy-handed approach, causing one editing expert to say, “Stop turning your photos into crap.” Whether you use Photoshop or Lightroom, the key is to employ subtle techniques and edit with restraint, as you’ll see in the video below.

Mitchell Kanashkevich is an award-winning travel photographer, whose popular tutorials are geared toward techniques that really matter to your growth as a photographer. In this tutorial he shares five Lightroom tips to help you avoid the most common “photo-editing crimes.”

The simple techniques in the video enable you to enhance images while retaining a realistic appearance. The mistakes Kanashkevich discusses include what he calls “alien eyes,” oversaturated skies, and a few other “crimes” you may be committing, and he demonstrates how to properly make the adjustments necessary while maintaining a life-like appearance.

According to Kanashkevich, it all begins with paying attention to the Tone Curve, which can be used to boost contrast and add a punchy, dynamic look to dull photos. The trick is knowing when to stop and pull back the strength of the effect. Similarly, Kanashkevich suggests a very judicious use of Saturation and Vibrance sliders, or even ignoring them altogether.

Other tips in the video include why you should avoid tweaking the Split Toning sliders, the importance of taking notes while shooting an image so your edits retain the mood you captured, and much more. So take a look, and edit your images legally.

There are more great tips on Kanashkevich’s YouTube channel, and be sure to check out last week’s tutorial with four fantastic Lightroom tricks you need to know now.