Some of you have been asking me about how I edit my photos and if it could be done with something simple like Picmonkey.
First I want to say having a good photo to edit helps tremendously. Learning how all the settings work on your camera is good too. I’m not telling you to sit down and read the manual or anything.
I just google any questions I have and usually find it covered nicely in a forum, YouTube review, KenRockwell, digital photography school and sometimes right in the camera’s manual of all things! I love the pdf versions it’s not really like reading the manual even though you really are reading the manual.
I can’t stress this one enough and I don’t think I’ve mastered it yet myself, Lighting lighting lighting. Lighting will make or break the photo.
After reading a Miz Booshay post on thepioneerwoman about setting your picture controls to “Vivid” I decided to try it. I tried it and have left it on Vivid ever since. When I shoot in raw all of the picture control settings are available in post processing but I’m not going into raw and jpg. right now. Other people could probably explain it better anyway.
So yeah, you might want to experiment with what picture controls you like.
I’ll let you guess which of these flower photos was edited in PicMonkey.
I decided to edit a random photo in picmonkey and here’s how it went.
I uploaded a SOOC .jpg
I always like to fix my white balance first. I found the temperature slider and put it at –14 to get rid of some of the yellow from the lights in the kitchen. Yes, I broke that lighting rule here but the sun had already gone over the hill by the time we were ready to eat.
Next I went to exposure and got frustrated with the limited choices. I wanted to have a slider to start in the middle and let me darken or lighten both highlights and shadows. Not here, You can further blow out the highlight on the onions or bring the brightness down on the overall photo. Which is what I opted for. Then I played with the shadows and contrast a little.
Next I went to sharpen. I put the clarity at +2, if I went much higher it got awful dark.
I always resize for web I don’t see any point in posting photos larger than people are going to view and in remembrance of those days of dial up slow internet I want my post to load sometime this week.
I checked the box to keep the proportions and resized down to 950 pixels.
Then I saved it.
I think that was an a pretty bad photo to use as a test. I edited this one in pic monkey too, and it’s not too bad.
This photo was taken out on the porch. Yup, Light!
So I think my conclusion is if you have a good photo you can do a fair amount in Picmonkey but it really isn't for rescuing photos you took inside after it got dark and you’d forgotten you’d left your camera set for outside, had cried your eyes out over the onions and had planned to never show anyone that you took such a fuzzy photo.
For a quick minor edit that you can access anywhere because it’s web based PicMonkey is pretty sweet.
I encourage you to take more photos. Good, bad, and all the in between because the more you shoot the more you will learn.
Take a class, Join a photography group, read, don’t be afraid to ask other photographers you admire, know, see out in public, where ever. Most are very friendly and are more than happy to give you pointers and answer your questions.