How can I better learn to retouch a photo?

How can I better learn to retouch a photo?
Home ยป Photo Editing ยป How can I better learn to retouch a photo?

If photography is an art, so is retouching. To get from import to export efficiently is the goal of retouching photos. Don’t let your favorite photography gather digital dust. Only Practice, Practice, and more Practice using your favored tools can help you learn to retouch a photo better. But besides Practice, here are some tips and recommended software that can save your time, and you can do better in retouching photos if you’re following the tips-

In-Camera, Fix Your Images to Save Time

Often, knowing that you’ll have to fix something later in post-processing, you will take a photo. But you don’t have to fix it later if you can fix it now in-camera, right? 

  • You can change the exposure with a quick spin of a dial. 
  • Zoom in or out for a tighter crop or as you want. 
  • Straighten that horizontal line. If you need to adjust 100 horizon lines individually later, it’s better than fussing with straightening it later in post-processing. 

Of course, you can make adjustments later. But why wait until the next few days for something that you can do now? The less post-processing you have to do, the closer the in-camera image is to your final image. 

Use Import & Export Tools

Set up your editing software automatically. You can use Lightroom’s import and export tools. 

  • You can add global keywords and metadata on imports like copyright information and titles. 
  • To apply your favorite settings to the imports, you can even add a develop preset. 
  • When you’ve finished editing, you also have export tools. 
  • You can apply output sharpening and rename images. 

Lightroom makes the changes automatically. So you need not think about it.

To Find Your Images, Faster Have a System

Put files in an organized way to find them when you need them. 

  • It doesn’t matter what your system belongs to, and the important thing is it has the system. An example of this might be Photographs>Tour>2021.11.10 โ€“ Friends. 
  • Speeding up your editing process isn’t just about faster retouching. It’s about when you need an image; it should be at your fingertips.

Eliminate Keystrokes

Photo adjustments can be highly repetitious sometimes. So it’s smart to use any keyboard shortcuts offered by your post-processing program to adjust the photos. 

  • It might not seem like lots but think of all those thousands of photos in your gallery. 
  • A one-second keystroke becomes huge when multiplied by 100 or 100,00. So, for instance, you can use Lightroom’s Auto-Advance function. 
  • There are many Lightroom shortcuts. “X” for reject. “D” to switch to the Develop Module. “V” to convert to black and white. 

These save hundreds of keystrokes when you cull images each time and save your energy.

Use Presets and Auto For Quick Adjustments

By using auto options or presets, you can start post-processing. 

  • Unfortunately, the auto-icon looks like a magic wand usually. 
  • The software inspects your image and makes changes. 
  • You can check to see what settings suggest by clicking the auto button in the Basic panel of the app. 

If you think the result is not working, you can undo the changes. 

Use Batch-Editing

You may often take a series of photos in the same scene or with the same thing or subject. 

  • They can have similar camera settings and lighting. 
  • You don’t need to separately post-process each image. Instead, batch edit.

Post-processing more photos at a time are called Batch editing. 

Edit on the Go

I have found myself sitting on a train, car, or bus home from a session, itching to start post-production. 

  • Use that time to work. 
  • You can set up a post-processing workspace on a laptop or mobile device at your convenience. 

By the time you’re home, you can have your images ready, maybe.


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Many great photo retouching apps and software are available, but it’s not easy to choose the right one among them. To help you out in this dilemma, here’s a list of some popular and good photo retouching apps for portrait photos.

Adobe Lightroom 

If Photoshop comes off as too complicated, then 

  • you’re sure to love Lightroom’s simple, beginner-friendly interface and high-performance features. 
  • Adobe Lightroom provides all the tools you’ll need to retouch photos, such as stunning portraits, landscapes, real estate, and other photography.

Skylum Luminar AI

For various reasons, Luminar has quickly become one of the most popular editing tools for professional photographers worldwide. 

  • Skylum Luminar has the same keyboard shortcuts as Adobe’s Lightroom.
  • Like Lightroom, to make it easier to find the images, you can sort, tag, and categorize your images within the Luminar Library. 

Adobe Photoshop

The retouching tools in Adobe Photoshop are Clone Stamp, Pattern Stamp, Healing Brush, Patch, and Color Replacement. 

  • These tools repair damaged images, apply repeated patterns, or replace colors in an image. 
  • Photoshop has masking, retouching, and layering tools, which are still considered some of the most popular tools.

DxO PhotoLab 4

This photo editing and organizing system have:

  • Customizable interface options, presets, color protection, and multiple export formats so that you can easily accomplish all your tasks in one place. 
  • DxO PhotoLab provides a suite of processing and correction tools that meet the requirements of real photographers.

Corel PaintShop Pro

  • Corel PaintShop Pro is considered one of the most straightforward photo editing software options online.
  • Corel PaintShop Pro is for people who need a simple but effective image upgrade.

Affinity Photo 1.10

Affinity Photo 1.10 provides the tools, features, and power to compete with Photoshop head-on. 

  • It has focused particularly on cloning, healing, and retouching tools on the retouching market. 
  • Affinity Photo is an extremely powerful photo editor with more tools and features.

Capture One Pro 21

  • Capture One has a highly customizable set of ‘tool tabs’ and works in a single window rather than Lightroom-style’ modules.’ 
  • Capture One’s conversion is smoother and sharper than Lightrooms.

Considering all of the facts, The beauty of using a computer to retouch a digital image is that if the result is not meet your expectations, you can undo it, right back to the last time you saved the result. You are, of course, working on a copy of the original file, which always remains unaltered. Apart from everything, you need to practice. Because without practicing, it took a very long time to master it.

Moumita Das
Moumita is passionate about creating value in digital marketing and web content creation. Also, she has experience in social media marketing.

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