This Simple Photography Tip Will Make You a Much Better Editor

Here’s a simple photography tip that will make you a better editor.

Today’s photography tip has nothing to do with how you use an editing tool but instead when you use it. Many photographers like to get home after a long photo walk, fire up the computer, and start editing. I’m guilty of doing this many times over the years. But such an overzealous approach may lead to poorly edited photographs – here’s my solution.

Photography Tip for Better Editing

No matter what genre you shoot, the feeling of getting “the shot” is the same. It feels amazing! When you look at your tiny LCD screen, you get butterflies in your stomach and endorphins in your brain. At that moment, I know you’re thinking, “I can’t wait to get home and edit it!”

But my photography tip is to do the opposite of what your instincts are telling you. Rather than going home and immediately editing, wait a little longer. Edit the next day, or even the following weekend. Why?

Photography is full of emotions. When we connect to something emotionally, it’s difficult for us to look at it objectively. In the heat of making photographs, when adrenaline is often running wild, it’s easy to convince ourselves, “this is the best shot.” But once time has passed, our mind has settled, and we may not feel the same way. However, by the time that point arrives, we may have already edited and shared the photograph with the world. Ever looked at a photo on your social media and thought, “that’s not as good as I thought it was.”?

Photography Tip: Image Selection Is Key to Better Edits

One of the most essential parts of the editing process is image selection – in my opinion, it’s the most crucial part. Selecting the wrong images can lead to better photographs being left behind. But by adding some time between making photographs and editing them, you can sit in front of your computer with a more composed way of thinking. The excitement will have likely died down, especially if you’ve been out again to create more images.

Maybe the image you fell in love with will still be the best – both emotionally and objectively. But I also believe there’s a good chance you find yourself saying, “I don’t think this photo is as good as I first thought. I prefer this one instead.” And that’s not a bad thing – it’s an extremely good thing. Because selecting the best photos only benefits you. And patiently waiting to edit, rather than running in all guns blazing, will help you achieve the best results!

Bonus Tips

There are many elements to better editing. Many photographers tend to overthink the process, which leads to sloppy or overdone editing. Below are a couple of points that should help you simplify the process and create better edits.

“I’ve hardly done anything to it.” If you find yourself saying this, give yourself a big pat on the back! Because if an image feels complete without much editing, you’re doing something right!

But don’t think, “I need to do more!” This way of thinking can easily lead to over editing, which spoils a photograph. Remember, editing is there to enhance the quality of the image. If you can do that with minimal effort, then that’s a positive, not a negative.

“Oh, that will do.” If you say this when editing a photograph, then walk away from your computer immediately. It likely means you’re bored of editing and don’t have the energy to continue. Never export a photograph right after saying, “oh, that will do”. Instead, take a break, and return when you feel more focused.

Enjoy the Process!

Editing can be tedious and time-consuming. But with these simple and easy photography tips, it can be so much more enjoyable. These main photography tips will make you a better editor and strengthen your overall body of work. So relax, choose your images wisely, and, above all, enjoy the process.

Dan Ginn

Dan Ginn is a content writer and journalist. He brings with him five years' experience writing in the photographic niche. During that time he has worked with a range of leading brands, as well as a host professional photographers within the industry.