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With all the different devices and editing programs out there, it can be quite overwhelming to decide how and where to edit your pictures. This article will run through some basic photo-editing techniques and programs for both your phone and your computer. See Step 1 below to get started!

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Invest in some software. You can do fundamental edits with programs like Picasa and Instagram, but if you want to formulate your photos really look wonderful, you should get a program specifically designed for stern editing. This doesn’t always have to charge money! Programs like GIMP are free. Though you’ll have to find out how to use them, they’ll make a huge impact on how your photos look.


Crop to add interest. When you’re going back through your photos to prepare for publication them, one thing you can look at is how the photo is cropped. Changing where the image ends can vastly change how it looks. Try following the rule of thirds, which suggests that photos look better when the frame is visually divided into three equal parts.


Change the contrast. This is a universal setting for any photo editor. It makes whites brighter and darks darker, making a picture look more spectacular and clear. Be careful, however: you lose a lot of small details when you raise contrast. Don’t go overboard!


Change the saturation. Saturation is how bold the colors in a photograph are, and a saturation adjuster is another general feature in photograph editing programs. Now and again, the photograph can be improved by lower the saturation (moving towards black and white) and occasionally it can be enhanced by increasing the saturation. Experiment!


Change vibrancy. This is another setting which comes mainly with Photoshop but also with some other editors as well. This is much like saturation, but it works much better with skin tones. Essentially, if you have people in a picture, start with the vibrancy. If you only have a landscape, you can use saturation.


Carefully use blurring and sharpening. Instead of just applying blur or sharpen filters across your entire picture, use blur and sharpen brushes instead. This will give you more precise control. This is important because pictures usually only need a little blurring and a little sharpening. Sharpen small areas to make important details more crisp. Blur areas like certain parts of the skin on faces to make blemishes less noticeable.


Keep it as close to the original as possible. Really heavy editing can quickly make pictures look really fake. It’s like putting way too much makeup on a really pretty woman. After awhile, she just looks like a clown. If you’re going to make someone look thinner, don’t go over the top. If you’re going to change the colors, don’t make them look unnatural. If you edit things out of images, check to make sure you didn’t miss anything that will show the edits. You don’t want to end up on Photoshop Disasters!


Avoid the cliches. Cliches are artistic crutches and can make excellent photos come across as boring and unprofessional. For example, black and white photos with just one thing colored (like a nice pair of red lips) are over done and now tend to come across as cheesy. If you really want your photos to be taken seriously as art, try to avoid cliches like this one.