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Although I haven’t been online for a while, I still wanted to share my new routine in editing since my obsession with photos didn’t go anywhere. I stayed true to my style and vibe, however, when I take professional photos I do want some additional finessing. For instance, behind pics you see in my blog, comes hours of editing in Photoshop, Lightroom, tons of choosing, tries and error. So, this is how I do it. (The tutorial is presented with the help of — online dating site):

Stage 1, the most boring one

First, I start with bad and unwanted photos. When I look awful, when the angle isn’t right, when I’m not in focus or there is a weird hair stuck to my face, you know the drill. I just delete them, carefully sorting all of the taken pics. If I have time, desire and energy to do so, I start deleting bad photos during the shooting (or just after it), looking at the monitor of my camera. It makes you save a lot of space on your hard drive (especially when I’m traveling and equipped only with my MacBook Air). It also saves you time when sorting out all of the good shots on your computer. After importing photos to my computer or laptop, I further import them into Lightroom and start looking at each one, marking those I like at close inspection and deleting those I dislike. This method is not the best if you want to get the job done fast, but I am kind of used to it. 

Stage 2, the editing

You know, I love Lightroom a whole lot. In 99,9% of occasions, I take photos in RAW format and edit almost all of my photos in Lightroom. It saves me the time, the pics turn out to be of great quality, and I generally prefer Lightroom to Photoshop if we don’t talk about some weird artistic effects which involve pasting and hard rendering. But my vibe is always chill, so I usually never do so.

  1. I start with cleaning my picture from dust and artifacts unless I go for that grainy effect (it’s the flaw of my camera, I kind of need a new one). 
  2. The usual instruments I always use are in the Basic panel. Besides, I occasionally use a Color tab for controlling my color palette (most of all I reduce blue tones because most of my photos are preserved in that milky neutral earthy tones aesthetic). Sometimes I use gradient filters and Lens Correction to get rid of any flaws my optic lens caught. 
  3. Then I crop my image, delete any grain if I don’t want it or add it if I go specifically for that aesthetic. I also add more gradient filters to go with. 
  4. In other cases, I stretch out my RAW filters. I won’t give you details on which grid corresponds to what effect (that needs an additional post, that’s why we will get through it without more explanation).
  5. If I shoot buildings or myself near the buildings, I always fix the perspective if the towers are looking janky, wobbly, or visibly tilted. I flat out my horizon and get rid of optic defects (distortion, vignette effect, and chromatic aberrations).
  6. In more recent versions of Lightroom, some defects can be erased automatically, if your lens is saved as a profile. 
  7. If your lens isn’t saved as a profile, I usually fix stuff up manually by reducing chromatic aberrations. 
  8. Then I edit colors depending on my mood, how I feel it. I decide whether the composition will be somber or positive. Usually, I go for mild tones. Then I export the photo, open it in Photoshop and play with sharpness. 

My skin routine in Photoshop

I usually don’t have to touch up my skin in Photoshop, nor am I a fan of heavily altered looks. But when I go for it, I usually start with a Patch tool where I touch up most of my blemishes if I have them. But I always try to go for a natural look, avoiding my wrinkles, creases, and under-eye bags. Let them be!

If I feel the need to touch up some mild redness I go for the Stamp tool and stamp smooth areas onto my blemishes, making them disappear. I don’t touch my nose, eye size, nor do I add or reduce the curves. Because what is the point of beautiful photography if the pics are heavily altered?

If I see some hairs stuck to my face because of lip gloss, I carefully try to path all of them out individually, but usually, it’s not a big deal. When I am finished, I look into my hands on the photos closely to reveal whether I have chipped nail polish to fix it by manually coloring each gap in a separate layer. If you want to get the job done with precision, try different blend modes. 

Usually, I have everything in presets, although I have shown you how to do them, most of the time my palette is reserved in a range of colors, so I do only the slightest altering.

If the photo looks differently when I export it into Instagram, I can also touch it up with Snapseed, although I do not recommend editing your photos in smartphone apps because they reduce the quality, and since I go for sharp and crisp RAW-format photos, sometimes it doesn’t work like that. 

 I export my photos into my computer, take a fresh look, and upload my photos to Instagram or Facebook. So that is my updated routine on photo editing, I hope it was helpful!