While the merit of Photoshop has long been debated by photographers, there’s little doubt that the decision is a personal choice. However, what is often overlooked from the conversation is the fact that photographers make mistakes which have the potential to undermine the impact of their work. So what are some of these mistakes? Continue reading to find out.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room first. Irrespective of whether you advocate for the use of Photoshop to edit your pictures, there is no bigger cardinal sin than overprocessing. One of the biggest areas concerns sharpness, where photographers seek to overcorrect for a very minor, and at times unnoticeable flaw. In turn, this often leads to the photo looking unrealistic. Other watchpoints concern adjustments to contrast, white balance and colours, plus poor bevel and emboss that again make the photo look less authentic.
Not understanding layers
There’s a fine balance when it comes to harnessing the power of layers. The feature is certainly one of the most prominent aspects of the software. On the one hand, if you don’t have enough layers and need to make adjustments, you’ll be cursing yourself for not breaking up the work into a more meaningful assortment. You may even relegate yourself to starting over. Conversely, if you use too many layers, you can confuse yourself amongst the options. On this point, don’t overlook how grouping via folders and smart objects can make the task of editing significantly easier. They also help avoid complications like adjustments that cannot be undone.
Relying on Photoshop
It’s a wonderful position as a photographer to know that you have the ability to make adjustments that ‘tune’ a photo. However, this does not, and should not translate into complacency on the photographer’s part where they take the initial shot for granted. If you ensure the conditions support the shoot to begin with, and execute diligence in the technical aspect of the shot, you won’t need to depend on Photoshop to edit your photos. Instead, you can use it to complement and accentuate a photo’s best features. This results in far superior results than an overwhelmingly processed photo.
Not adjusting for the task
Although it’s easy to assume that CMYK is the go-to mode in Photoshop, it really depends on the task at hand. This is particularly the case for print work, which may result in an inferior outcome compared with the job performed by some printers. At times RGB can be just as effective, with conversion also an option. There are also limitations working with CMYK as far as filters are concerned, not to mention contending with a larger file size. Similarly, at the onset you should adjust the DPI to the task you’re doing, mindful that 72dpi is insufficient for print work.