9 Powerful Photo Editing Techniques For Creating Stunning Photos

– Have you ever looked
at photos in magazines, and they just didn’t look the same as those coming from your own camera. Sure, those magazine photos
are taken by the pros with superior camera skills, but the pros have a secret that make their photo so much better. And today, I’ll reveal that secret to you. My name is Mark Hemmings, and I’m an internationally
recognized photographer and photography instructor. In this short video, I’m gonna share nine powerful photo editing techniques for turning average photos into stunning magazine-quality images. And all of these edits will take you three minutes or less. I know these nine techniques
work really, really well, because they are the same techniques I use for editing all of my professional
photography assignments across the world, and this is the secret of all
professional photographers. They never publish their photos without post processing. Actually, that’s one of the main reasons why their photos are so stunning and why they’re so popular
on Facebook and Instagram. But if you look at the
photos before editing, they often look very different. Let me show you exactly what I mean. Here’s just one example. On a recent photo trip to Kyoto, I came across these women dressed in such lovely kimono. I quickly grabbed the shot not having enough time to
change any camera settings. While the photo was okay, with careful cropping,
white balance, contrast, vibrance, and tonal adjustments, I was able to make this photo so much more dramatic and mysterious. It too me less than three
minutes to edit this photo, but what a difference it made. So if you want to achieve the same magazine quality
results that pros get with editing their photos, all you have to do is watch this video on nine most powerful editing techniques. Okay? Let’s get started. Okay, the first technique
I wanna share with you is how to crop and straighten your photos to dramatically improve their composition. Before you think, “Well,
this is overly simplistic.” let met tell you two things. First, we will get into more
advanced editing techniques further in the video. And second, cropping and straightening are so crucial to all editing that they absolutely
have to be covered first. Okay, take a look at this
sample photo that I have here that I took in Mexico. It’s okay, but there are some
serious problems with it. First of all, at the top left, we have sort of a splash of light that really doesn’t add to the story. I’d like to crop that out. Also, the people at the bottom. While I really like this
well-dressed gentleman, the two other women really
don’t add to the story because all of the attention should be on this man who is in the ray of light. Not only that. At the far right, I included by mistake sort of a half of a person,
their right shoulder, and I want to crop that
out because that person doesn’t really add to the story at all. The power of cropping
is really, really great. By cropping, you can actually get rid
of extraneous elements, which is a technical term meaning parts of a picture that
doesn’t tell the story. Okay, take a look at my after picture. As you can see, we now
have stripped the image down to its bare essentials. We have the man in the light, and we have the gentleman
that’s well-dressed. Now he is much darker, that’s okay because he isn’t the primary subject. However, I feel I have
a much stronger picture now that I cropped and only retained the most important elements. Now, I did all of this in Lightroom in less than three minutes. And actually, I use Lightroom
for all of my editing because I believe it’s the only software that helps save you time
and give you amazing results all at the same time. Now, you’ll notice that
I reduced the light a little bit in this picture to really help bring out this person, but we’ll get into that
later in this video. Here’s another example for
cropping and straightening. A nice shot of this
sailboat out in the ocean, but there is a big problem. The problem is the
horizon is not straight. This is really critical and
is actually a common problem that even pros face, because it’s really hard to
actually get a straight horizon when you have water photos, architectural photos, or any other photo. However, with this corrected photo, plus a little bit of
enhancement of the setting sun, we get a really strong end result. I really like this photo. Okay, in this technique, I want to explain how altering shadow areas and highlights can radically add drama to your pictures. To demonstrate this technique, I’ve opened this photos
that I took in Kyoto, Japan in Lightroom. While it looks okay,
there’s a big problem. As you can see, the shadow
areas are really pixelated. There’s so much what
we call digital noise. It really doesn’t look good. And with two adjustments of
two sliders in Lightroom, we can really fix those shadow problems by creating a silhouette. Now there’s no more ugly grain, and the picture is drama-filled. Okay, we got a really cool
shot of a bridge here. I really like it, but the problem is along
the top part of the bridge, it’s way too bright. Now the rest of the picture looks fine, but we have to correct the highlights. Now, highlight simply
means really bright areas. And we can easily do this
with this corrected photo. All I did was move one slider, the rest of the picture remained the same, but the highlighted areas,
the overly bright areas are now down to a proper exposure, and the entire picture looks excellent. Now the next technique
I wanna share with you is removing all unwanted
objects in your photo in order to really push all
attention to the main subject. So for example, each year, I do photography
workshops in Japan, and my clients absolutely love
to visit the snow monkeys, and they take amazing photographs of these incredible creatures. The only problem is, often, what’s behind the snow monkeys causes a lot of problems. Take a look at this picture here. While the shot is okay, there are twigs and branches coming out of the monkey’s head. To have a really strong image, we wanna get rid of all of the extra parts of the picture behind the monkey that have no relevance. In fact, twigs coming
out of the monkey’s head just doesn’t look good, so we erase them. Take a look at this final picture. This is far more cleaner. Plus, with the addition of a bit of color balance and brightness, this photo is stunning. Now many people feel really overwhelmed when they open up Lightroom. They have so many photos
that they need to correct, but I wanna give you a quick demo just to show you how powerful and how simple using this program is, when you know what you’re doing. Okay, so I have this cupola, this great ceiling shot. But in the middle is an electrical outlet that I want to get rid off just to make this a bit cleaner. Very simply, I’m going to do a little bit of healing brush work, and we’ll see what happens. Now the center is completely clean exactly the way I wanted it to be, and it only took me a minute to do. It’s nice and clean, very dramatic, and it’s great for
sharing in social media. Now the next technique
I wanna share with you is how to bring out the blue in the sky to significantly liven up your photos. Now take a look at this
sample shot that I have here. While it’s okay as it is, I really feel that adding blue to the sky and making it really punchy is gonna make this shot even better. And by selectively only
adjusting blue in this picture, all of the rest of the
picture remains the same. The clouds still stay white, and of course the flowers in the field stayed the same color. Overall, we now have really
great blues in the sky, and by additional adjustments, this picture becomes super punchy and I’m really proud of it. Have you ever taken a photo of a building, and while the building
was exposed really nicely, the sky is just a bland blah white? Well, it can easily be corrected by adding blue sky to almost any photo. Take a look at this after shot. I was able to add a
realistic-looking blue sky all within two minutes. And now the photos is ready to roll. It’s good enough to be framed, and I’m proud to send
it out to social media. Okay, the next technique
I like to share with you is fixing unnatural looking lights for magazine quality nigh photos. Now take a look at the sample
shot that I took in Mexico. Do you see how the entire picture is covered with an ugly green color. This is very common because a lot of city lights are created with either
mercury or sodium vapor. And that’s just a technical
name for the light, but what that does is it
produces a really strange picture on anything that’s under the light. So, take a look at this after picture. I corrected the color really quickly. In fact, it only took less than a minute, and now I have a more
realistic looking picture. The people look good. The facades of the old classic
buildings look much better, really happy with this shot now. Now, I absolutely love night photography. But the problem is whenever I want to illuminate
objects on the ground, like trees, well, we usually
use our car headlights or other forms of illumination, but these types of lights
usually create a strange color to whatever we’re illuminating. So by changing the white balance slider, I’m able to get a more accurate look to whatever I’m photographing and the stars in the
background still remained excellently exposed and color balanced. Okay, in this next technique, I like to show you how adjusting only one color of your picture can create dramatic
black and white photos. Let me give you an example. I have this really great
European street scene up here. It’s very colorful, has a deep blue sky. And if I change this to black and white, just the normal default black and white, the picture is okay, but
it doesn’t really have the drama I’m looking for. Now, can you see how rich the blue sky is. If I manipulate only the
blue are of the picture, I can adjust the brightness
or darkness of the sky to make this very drama-filled. For example, I’m gonna only
adjust in this black and white the blue areas, so the
sky almost becomes black. Now I really love the drama
of this black and white photo. Now this next example is pretty
similar to the one before, where we have sort of a decent color shot. But in black and white, we can adjust only one area to make it very dramatic. For example, I really want
a nice shiny bright water, but I want the cloudy sky and
the shed to remain untouched. Well, we can do this by
only adjusting the water, and we end up with a high-contrast really dramatic black and white. And often for black and whites, what we’re going for is
a contrasty punchy image where we have high highlights. That means very bright areas, and we have dark shadow areas. This looks absolutely great. This next technique is all about using selective color adjustments for vibrant landscape photos. Take a look at the
sample shot that I have. It’s a really beautiful
European city scape. Now a lot of the times
you’ll be doing landscape similar to this, city scapes with green trees, and blue water, blue sky. However, you don’t always
want to just increase saturation, which is color
brightness all together. That can actually look terrible. However, if we want to
only make the trees greener and only want the blue sky and
the blue clouds to be bluer, we can easily do this. Take a look at the results. The blues are great and the greens are great just by selectively choosing only to adjust one
certain color at a time. Okay, now let’s go to this picture, this winter scene. Now I really like the
center of this picture this old classic building. However, because the rest
of the picture is blue, I would like to make
this building pop out. Now by selecting only the
color of this building, I can actually get results like this. The remainder of the
picture, the bluish area, still remains the same. However, the building comes alive and it becomes far more
vibrant and reddish. It’s exactly what I wanted. I have a really cool
technique for you now. You can take average looking portraits and give them sort of a movie poster look. Take a look at these examples. Don’t you think they look really striking? This effect always stuns people when the image is shared on social media, and they want to know how I did it. Actually, my secret is quite simple, and I’ll share it with you now. Okay, so we have this really
nice normal portrait here. It’s kind of what would
come out of your camera. But what we’re gonna do
is give it sort of that DVD cover movie poster
look that’s quite popular. So, I’m gonna make some adjustments. And with these simple and
very quick slider adjustments, I can actually transform this picture from a standard and good-looking shot to a graphic shot that really looks good. You’ll notice there’s less color and there’s more of contrasty look. It is really great for social media. In this next technique, I want to show you how to get really stunning landscapes by removing what we call haze. Now haze is a result of ultraviolet light. It’s called UV haze, and it can really reduce the impact of your landscape photos. Okay, let’s take a look at this test shot. It’s really cool. It’s got dramatic clouds. It’s on the water, has
an old classic building with a beautiful rainbow, but it still doesn’t have the
drama that I’m looking for. In order to get the drama I want, I’m going to reduce the
ultraviolet haze or UV haze. So, by one quick movement of the slider that actually only takes
about five seconds, the photo gores from
this, all the way to this. Now this is drama. I absolutely love the
results of removing UV haze. Okay, let’s take a look at another one. Now, this is a standard landscape, there’s nothing special about it, but can you see there’s
a slight bluishness? Now UV haze often results
in a slight bluish softness that really doesn’t look good. But when we remove the bluish haze, we can return the colors
back to the normal levels. For example, now with
this corrected image, the greens are greens,
the yellows are yellows, and we were able to remove
the blue altogether. Now an example with my favorite subjects, the Japanese snow monkeys. Because they were in hot
springs where they bathe, there is so much hazy mist in the air, and that’s the result of
cold air up in the mountains, and of course really hot water. Often, it’s really hard to get a shot of the Japanese snow monkeys because of all of the haze. But with a simple movement of a slider, I’m able to absolutely correct this image, bring out the colors of
the snow monkey’s faces, and we have a good crisp,
clear, award-winning shot. Don’t forget that colors really pop out when you remove the UV haze. As you see, the techniques
I shared with you are extremely powerful, and once you start using them, they’ll dramatically improve your photos, like it does for the pros who use them. And while I showed you
all of the techniques, and you know it’s best to
use Lightroom for them, you probably wouldn’t know
how to get the same results of your photos in Lightroom by yourself, and that’s totally okay. It actually took me about six months of research and hard
work to master Lightroom, and I’m a technical guy, and I had help from my
professional photography friends. So if you have a lot of time, and you’re really good with technology, you can probably figure
out Lightroom by yourself. But I wanted to create an easier solution for people who wanted to
improve their photos right now, and that’s why I created Lightroom Editing Mastery, which is the only online course that shows you how to turn average photos into stunning magazine-quality images in three minutes or less. This course covers all
the editing techniques we talked about today. So, when you sign up today, you’ll know how to create all of the edits you saw in this video. Now I have to warn you that
Lightroom Editing Mastery always sells out quickly, and registration will only stay open for a few more days. So if you want to find
out more about the course, you should do it right now while the registration is still open. So click on that big
yellow funny-looking button below this video, and it will take you to the next page where you can learn more about
Lightroom Editing Mastery, and see if the course
is a good fit for you before the registration
closes in just a few days. So click on that yellow button below, and I’ll see you on the next page.

Posts created 2600

100 thoughts on “9 Powerful Photo Editing Techniques For Creating Stunning Photos

  1. Interesting the natural light was more interesting than the post process. I dont kmow it could be youtube but I like the original not post test.

  2. As someone who spent great deal of hours on Photoshop I know short video like this would be impossible to cover all how to do adjustments.I think Mark intended this as a general guide that post production is as important as taking a great photo or taking a mediocre photo but making it great after.He is sharing what's possible.Lot of the same effects can be done on other editing programs.

  3. Skip this video… "all I did was move one slider" umm what slider did you move? oh wait that is all about your "9 Powerful Photo Editing Techniques…"

  4. nutten to see here, move along…
    total waste of 18 mins…. theres no techniques shown here just a ton of talk and trying to sell his lessons at the end… this guy is pure snake oil.

  5. Loved the video, i think most people were expecting a how to instead of the what to look for in the pictures video, but, any editing software will provide you with the tools to achieve the techniques that are explained on the video so its a matter of using the tools an looking for crop, shadows and brightness, etc.

  6. Your video was very enjoyable. I don't mind at all that you were soliciting students for your course. I hope you got good results.

  7. Is it just me, or does editing your pictures make a photographer a "cheater". Dobt get me wrong it does make pictures look better. . . But I just feel like I'm cheating… thoughts anyone???

  8. All I got from this was "bla bla slider bla bla buy my course. This is how ALL this guy's videos are.

  9. at 11:38 did he say what I thought he said? I want the cloudy sky and the "shit" to remain untouched? Asking for a friend.

  10. yr a bad man. this vid is a teaser for yr course.

    You Should have let us know right away you were just selling a course, then the time spent would have been fine.


  11. I haven't seen so many negative comments or reviews on a tutorial video like this one. I'm a Photoshop trainer and I clicked this video to see if you have something useful to offer to the community and boy am I disappointed.

  12. YouTube recommended this randomly, decided to watch. Unlike others, I am not looking for the "how you did it." That part is easy enough for me. But, your editing, your style… eh. Can't say they were really impressive. They might work for quick edits in magazines, but definitely not anything great themselves.

  13. The video is on techniques not how-to's.  This guy is basically showing what lightroom is capable of doing.  He identifies what is "wrong" with the photo, and then tells us what technique he would use to "fix" it.  If you want how-to's then you need to look at another video or look into your programs help feature.

  14. Only watch this if you are already well familiar with lightroom or equivalent, know the tools, and are just looking for ideas on what to do with them. Otherwise this is just a very long commercial.

  15. "Only Lightroom" are you really saying that people who have moved away from Lightroom are misguided ? Crazy !

  16. Short Resume of this video: Move the sliders in Lightroom to modify your picture. :))
    Can you please make a video about how you got to be an "international recognized photographer" and what kind of people attend your courses? 🙂
    Sorry for being as bad as your video, I do not usually spend my time doing this but, who knows, maybe this way I will become famous. 🙂

  17. What a waste of time. This is nothing more than an ego trip for the photographer. The bloody dope started out by saying “…how to get magazine quality etc …..”. But he manifestly doesn’t show that at all. He brags about his world travel, together with how clever he is.

  18. This is a BS advertisement for Lightroom. Several of the photos you do not give what you did to adjust! Give me a break!

  19. This video is a waste of time. It's an advertisement for a course. Most of this content is available free on you tube somewhere.

  20. am I the only one liking this video???
    this man gives you great points to make your photos look clearer and better guys…!
    I also edit the similar way he does.

  21. if you know how to do that, you don't have to buy the lessons. and if not, it's a good lesson for you to study.

  22. Title states "Powerful Photo Editing"? Nothing powerful about the editing or the images used. Stunning Magazine Quality Images….I don't think so. I assume the guy is not a pro.

  23. Great and helpful video, thanks! Now, at 8:35, I do think that not only has the blue of the sky been changed, but also the yellow of the flowers, which looks a lot punchier than before the color adjustment.

  24. I love the key points you mentioned because it really pointed how one part can make the picture better. However I wished you showed the technical stuff since im not really familiar with the editing settings.

  25. Have you not realised its a sales pitch for the Lightroom course. He isnt going to tell you how to do it unless you pay.

  26. This is a self promotion video, not a help video. There are plenty videos out there on youtube that will give you the answers..

  27. this video should be called "before and after" ..it does not show "powerful editing techniques for turning…..i totally get that you want to sell your course but misleading us will make us walk away…just a suggestion 😉

  28. Agree with some of the previous comments that the video for was marketing purposes and not a tutorial and a statement to that effect would have been helpful.

  29. Nice techniques and amazing results though, I understand you are selling the course and based on time spend on these techniques and its effectiveness and indeed it does makes it alot better. But the price for your course is too expensive for me, I know you are saying ppl have spent alot of money on equipment and expect them to spend a bit more, well I say that when ppl spend alot on camera and lense, one is broke even to spend more on anything else until one saves and trust me alot to buy yet. I would love to pay but its too expensive. I have subscribed to many content creators and I am getting a bit of tips from here and there and making improvements. Thanks for your tips as well, esp about highlights, hues and selective adjustments. I can see how these really stand out the photos with really smooth effect yet picture has still still originality, btw you didn't mention the photos u were editing were all raw ? I would assume so but want to confirm !!! Thanks heaps

  30. i think many Egyptians are jealous of the inferiority complex If you have the ability to help others can you do please do not waste your time here, We are appreciate it you Mr hemmings This effort

  31. In my opinion he actually does a very good job. If you know the basics of LR you will easily understand which "sliders" he is moving. In addition he mentions which sliders he is working with in the video if you LISTEN closely. More importantly than how he is doing it is why he is doing it. In the end if you're not able to replicate what he's doing then have some self-awareness and realize you need to learn the basics of LR. There are a ton of videos on YouTube for that.

  32. Light Room isn't the the one all be all program. Difficult to learn and you pay monthly for the rest of your life. Check out On 1 Photo Raw 2019 or better yet especially for portrait a made in Canada software hardly anyone has heard of called Perfectly Clear.

  33. This is just a teaser for a $300 course in using lightroom. And of course 'registration' is always open. If you don’t want to spend $300 don’t bother watching the video as you’ll only get minimal information on how to do the edits. There’s plenty of free stuff on lightroom on the internet but I guess the course will save you time if you can afford it.

  34. Some comments about no techniques being shown. If you never used photoshop or Lightroom, maybe that’s true, but there are great tips if you are willing to play with the tools.

  35. Marc, you swore with LR. Please take a good look at Luminar 3 please. the flex version is a plug-in version for LR. Thats great!

  36. Thank you for taking your time by all your videos. Each of you videos i take something new lesson and it becomes very helpful. I take what I learn and practice , practice and practice until i learn it. Thanks so much giving us very helpful information on how to improve taking better photos . It takes wanting to learn and practice 😊

  37. is this tutorial to teach us those techniques or to display your skills? Come on an ad is never a tutorial

  38. For those who think he didn’t teach much, watch again and really listen. Most are basic tips, but really these are the fundamentals of taking pictures we shoot to the next level by proper post processing technique. Applying these tips can really make a difference. To learn post processing or get a step-by-step instructional on your editing app, you will need a longer video or course to do that.

  39. I thought after 2 mins he's floggin something here, so 4 mins in paused then read the comments below ,17-15 ish. Bingo…punch line haha,click bait indeed,just glad i only was had off for 5 mins of my life.
    ffs be honest from the start

  40. This is a very long Ad “More than 18 minutes”
    so he can sell you his white room Technic, he can’t show you all the specifics techniques on how he did it.

  41. Watch “10 LIGHTROOM tips you SHOULD KNOW!” In YouTube, he will show you some techniques  for free.

  42. Affinity Photo does everything you can imagine with countless free instructional videos plus it is only $50 with no subscription. No I don't work for them and am getting no kickbacks, I just use it and love it.

  43. Find out more about Lightroom Editing Mastery: https://secure.photographypro.com/lightroom-editing-mastery?utm_campaign=YoutubeOrganic&utm_content=nukEQjQEXVU&utm_medium=social&utm_source=youtube&utm_term=PinnedComment

  44. I have had Lightroom for a bit, since I’ve just watched this video. I’m not sure why people are complaining. This video is still very helpful, and I have gotten an idea of how you like to use Lightroom to get these effects. Your videos have been fantastic, thank you.

  45. Thank you for those amaizing tips. Question, is it for me to take along a tablet on a trip onlt to store my pixtures and upon return move them to my laptop to be process. I want to travel light but be able to look at some pics. I will out over a month.

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